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June 28, 2006

NBC and YouTube/Whistler on The Click

Two new announcements of mutli-platform promotion and distribution of television programs was announced this week, including NBC's new deal with YouTube and MTV Networks' The N distributing the debut of its new series both on television and on the Web simultaneously.

NBC will market its fall lineup on YouTube and will also purchase advertising and give on-air promotion to the video sharing Web site that has helped transform user generated content and fan control of television clips and which has burgeoning popularity over the past year.

NBC's is the first comprehensive deal with the online video provider among the broadcast networks, probably explained by the fact that NBC is currently fourth among the six broadcast networks for marketing to 18-49s according to Television Week, and more willing to experiment with new ways to reach young viewers. As part of the deal, NBC is sponsoring a contest for amateur videos to be made promoting The Office, with the winning spot running on the network.

Cable networks, such as E! and MTV 2, have done similar promotions of television programs through YouTube.

For NBC, which has pulled out its legal eagles as much as anyone else in the past, it's a major step in the right direction.

As for our research partner MTVN's new teen series Whistler, the program will both air on their primetime teen network The N but also on their Click media player online simultaneously, in what is being called a "simulcast" (which always makes me think of that surreal moment when Vince McMahon bought WCW and a 15-minute segment aired simultaneously on both TNN and TNT, cable competitors).

Two more moves in the right direction when it comes to networks being more open about promoting content in multiple media forms.

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