Just two weeks after the announcement that internet titan America Online had finally consummated its technological union with merger partner Time Warner, AOL is flirting with other firms.

The company is in talks with major cable operators such as Comcast in a bid to increase subscriber and audience numbers.

AOL ceo Jonathan Miller hopes the joint venture with Time Warner Cable [WAMN: 2-Feb-2005] will be the blueprint for similar deals, as the company strives to move away from a subscription-only dialup service into the wider world of broadband.

Says Miller: "We have a number of ongoing discussions with Comcast. There's a lot of goodwill to see if something can be done."

The carrot for Comcast, the largest stateside cable operator, and others is access to subscribers of AOL and other ISPs, together with resultant increases in advertising revenues.

AOL's ad revenues topped $1 billion (€770m, £528m) in 2004 and Don Logan, chairman of Time Warner's media and communications group is confident they will grow. However, he says: "We are not yet sure how long it will take."

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC