NBC announces video content service

NBC Universal on Tuesday announced that it has created a new company that will distribute video content to internet sites.

Dubbed the ‘National Broadband Company’ (NBBC) the new firm will take content from the media giant’s networks and distribute it to chosen partners across the Web.

NBC’s move comes as several large media firms announce distribution models that seek to marry their content with network alliances in the hope of capitalising on the so-called ‘convergence curve’. On Tuesday, AT&T and MobiTV launched America’s first internet TV service.

On Tuesday Telecom Italia announced it would be splitting into two new companies and distributing Rupert Murdoch’s Fox products across TI’s broadband network.

NBC said TV-style commercials will be inserted before each video, with the revenue being split between the content owner, the web site owner – or other distributor – and NBBC.

On paper, the model looks similar to that being championed by SpiralFrog in the music space, or indeed T-Mobile and EMI’s recent agreement. SpiralFrog will deliver legal music to mobile users who have listened to radio-style advertising before being given free audio files to keep.

Randy Falco, president of the NBC Universal television group said: “In the future, when we have a Lazy Sunday clip, NBBC will make a lot of money on it.” He was referring to an online event earlier this year when ‘Lazy Sunday’, a sketch from the firm’s “Saturday Night Live” show was put -without permission – on YouTube, the video-sharing site. YouTube lured thousands of viewers to the clip before NBC forced it to take the content down.

Falco added: “We are going back into the broadcast business on the Internet.”

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