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Comcast Beefs Up Customer Service

Stocks in this article: CMCSA

The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.

NEW YORK ( Trefis) - Comcast (CMCSA) is the leading provider of cable TV, broadband Internet, and digital voice services.

It competes with satellite pay-TV providers like Dish Network (DISH) and DirecTV (DTV), cable companies like Time Warner Cable (TWC) and telecom operators like AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ).

In addition to competition from traditional cable and satellite and telecom companies, Comcast is also facing mounting challenge from online platforms like Netflix and Google TV. The firm is trying to plug its pay-TV market share declines with the launch of its new service, Xfinity Signature Support.

In addition, Comcast hopes its merger with NBC will benefit the company as it gets access to a vast amount of content with a distribution advantage over other pay-TV providers.

While we anticipate Comcast's Pay TV market share will stabilize at around 20% by the end of Trefis forecast period, Trefis members project the market share will pass 23%, translating into an upside of 10% to our estimate for CMCSA stock.

We currently have a Trefis price estimate of $29.57 for Comcast's stock, about 21% above the current market price of $24.23.

Xfinity Brand to Drive Comcast's Pay-TV Business

In December 2009, Comcast launched Fancast Xfinity TV, an on-demand TV service that enables subscribers to watch several TV shows and movies over the Internet. This "anytime anywhere" service gives subscribers the choice to view online content from any media platform - TV, computer, or tablets. The Xfinity TV was mainly an answer to Netflix, YouTube and other online streaming providers.

But are viewers only looking at multiple viewing options? Not completely. According to Comcast, a 2010 survey by Park Associates says that " more than 50 percent of Americans with Internet service look to their broadband provider as their first or second choice in solving their home computer-related technical issues. "Additionally, 75 percent of those surveyed prefer to receive all of their technical support services from a single vendor."

To fill in the gap between products offered and services provided, Comcast has recently launched Xfinity Signature Support, an advancement in the direction of customer service. Xfinity Signature Support offers customers a single source for troubleshooting and support for their computers, home networks and many other devices.

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