November 16, 2006
NBC Video Podcasting Nightly News, Meet the Press

Here's an innovation that I wanted to highlight for the continued development of transmedia and cross-platform broadcast network news content.

The first is that, started on Tuesday, NBC started offering its flagship news program, NBC Nightly News, and the oldest television program on the air, Meet the Press in its entirety as a video podcast. This marks the first broadcast news show to be offered in this format, while others offer alternate versions of the news in podcast format.

The hope, of course, is to expand the audience of its news division. The nightly news will be made available each night at 10 p.m., while Meet the Press will be available at 1 p.m. eastern each Sunday afternoon, available through this site. The show had previously been audio podcasted.

Lee Aase, who works as manager for national media relations and new media for the Mayo Clinic, has written a comparison of NBC's approach to video podcasting for news as compared to ABC's. Lee writes, "I have mixed feelings about their approaches. ABC feels like it has worked out more of a sustainable business model, and that its podcasts could actually be profitable. But it is producing something different for the podcasts as compared to what goes over the air, so it has some expense involved with production that NBC doesn't. NBC has to delay its podcast to avoid angering local affiliates, so it's not as timely...but you see the 'real' news program featuring Brian Williams, and not something mashed together for podcast."

Lee's reference is to ABC's use of advertising for its news site, while NBC only offers ads for its own programming. I first wrote about the ABC/NBC competition for transmedia news programs back in May, when NBC began offering retro news content for iTunes, while ABC struck a deal with the BBC to put BBC news content on its Web site with advertising support.

In July, NBC ramped up its transmedia content with a video blog for Brian Williams, while ABC dropped temporality of its news to promote a continuous news cycle for its online and cable content, ABC News Now.

CBS has not been silent in this race with its simulcast of a streamed version of its evening news.