I've been watching Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), the largest of the cable multi-systems operators (MSOs), for about a decade. And despite my longtime conviction that there are few companies as well managed, it strangely remains a company that people love to loathe.

This week, in part for that reason, Comcast is rolling out a new brand that it's calling "Xfinity." I don't know about you, but while I think the company probably should be congratulated for its attempt at rebranding a tarnished image, it's nevertheless hard for me to get beyond the notion that the new moniker is about as silly as any I've seen. There are already plenty of blogs bashing the new name and ridiculing the conglomerate's move. But then again, they didn't ask me, and so Xfinity will be the brand for all the company's products going forward.

Indeed, if you've been watching the Winter Olympic Games from Vancouver, you may have noted advertisements for the change in one or more of several media. The company's obvious intention is to make it abundantly clear that Comcast -- which will remain the corporate name for at least a while -- is well-versed in what's going on in the world of the Internet. Further, I'm sure it's no coincidence that this exterior change is being made as Comcast moves toward a merger with General Electric's (NYSE:GE) NBC Universal.

The cable guys continue to face increased competition from the likes of telephone operators Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T), along with satellite video providers like DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV). The telephone companies in particular have been putting the heat on the cable MSOs and their triple play offerings of video, high-speed data, and telephone service. If you think about it, Verizon, with its FiOS package, and AT&T, which calls its offerings U-Verse, are really able to provide the consumer with a quadruple play option, including wireless.

But lest you get the idea that Comcast is the only cable MSO involved in a rebranding effort, Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) has touted its Optimum brand for some time, while Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) is bearing down on its own "new" program, which is know internally as Project Mercury.

But what does all this mean for Comcast from an investment perspective? Hopefully the company's external name change, coupled with a somewhat new customer service guarantee and online help, can rebuild a much damaged image. My feeling is that, given its quality management team and its pending merger with NBC Universal, if you have a somewhat longer than normal investment time horizon, you might want to pick off a few of the company's shares.

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned above. He does, however, welcome your questions and comments. The Fool has a disclosure policy.