Yahoo signs up Comcast for web ads deal

U.S. cable television leader Comcast Corp. and Internet media company Yahoo Inc. said on Monday they had agreed to a multi-year partnership for Yahoo to supply Web advertising to Comcast.

The deal covers online display and video advertising to be featured on the site, which has 15 million monthly visitors, who collectively view 80 million videos each month.

Yahoo's advertising services will be part of a redesigned planned for later this year, the companies said.

The deal is the latest in a string of deals Yahoo has signed in recent weeks to supply big U.S. media players with online advertising services. Analysts say Yahoo is positioning itself as a bulwark against the encroachment into media markets by Google Inc., the biggest Web advertising supplier.

In recent months, Google has announced a string of deals to expand beyond its base in Web search and pay-per-click advertising into supplying advertisements on television, radio, newspapers, online video and other formats.

Yahoo is looking to show that its own recently upgraded Web search advertising system, dubbed Panama, is gaining momentum against rival Google, the pay-per-click Web ad leader.

Earlier this month, Yahoo won a deal to supply Viacom Inc. with search advertising for 33 of the media conglomerate's Internet sites, including the MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon television networks.

NBC Universal recently expanded a long-standing Web search advertising deal between its iVillage unit and Yahoo. The new deal will extend Yahoo's online advertising services to cover NBC Universal properties companywide in coming months, including, a spokesman for the company said recently.

Yahoo's media-friendly moves are similar to a strategy the company used to partner with major communications carriers. It has joint ventures with AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications and BT Group Plc to supply consumer Internet services to the telecom firms' broadband access offerings.

Not part of the Comcast-Yahoo deal are Web search services, which Yahoo also supplies, and Comcast Interactive Media's other properties. But a source close to the deal said future search duties should be awarded to Yahoo in the next month.

Comcast currently uses Google's search engine service and the three-year contract expires at the end of 2007.

Comcast is making a push to open up the Web site to more of its 24 million subscribers so they can use it to plan their TV viewing schedule. The site will also allow subscribers of Comcast's digital voice phone service to access voicemail.

Comcast expects advertisements on to generate a few hundred million dollars over a three-year period.

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