The broadcaster’s stations will contribute digital content and share in revenue with NBCU’s National Broadband Co.
Hearst-Argyle Television announced Monday that it has signed an agreement with NBC Universal’s National Broadband Co. under which Hearst-Argyle’s NBC affiliated TV stations and NBC Universal will jointly share and monetize their video content.
The plans for NBBC—an advertising-supported service jointly owned by NBC Universal and NBC television affiliates to aggregate, syndicate and distribute video and other digital content sourced from the NBC stations, NBC Universal cable networks and those of partner affiliate stations and other content partners—were first announced in April 2006 jointly by NBC Universal officials and Terry Mackin, Hearst-Argyle executive vice president and head of the company’s Digital Media Group, who at the time also served as chair of the NBC Affiliates Board. NBBC was officially launched in September 2006 with content from the NBC Universal companies and various third-party content providers. NBBC marks the second equity joint venture in the digital space, after Weather Plus, between NBC and its television affiliates.
“We see significant growth potential for broadband-based use by consumers and professionals of high-quality local video,” Mackin said. “By partnering with our colleagues at NBC Universal in this video syndication marketplace, we expect to increase widely the distribution of our local content. NBBC can broaden our access to a larger retail and commercial audience and offers us greater potential for content-licensing revenue.”
Brian Buchwald, NBBC general manager, added, “Terry has been an indispensable partner and collaborator in launching NBBC, and we are thrilled that the Hearst-Argyle content and distribution are now part of our diverse marketplace.”
Under the agreement, access to NBBC and its content will be available from the various local NBC-affiliated Hearst-Argyle station Web sites, and vice-versa, on a non-exclusive basis.
The sites of seven of the 10 largest Hearst-Argyle stations consistently are the No. 1 TV-station sites in their markets, according to the company. The Hearst-Argyle sites are also providing wireless application protocol (WAP) content, podcasts, Web-based newscasts, Web-based video and blogs in a broad cross-section of markets.
Hearst-Argyle’s NBC-affiliated stations have launched digital broadcast carriage of Weather Plus, the 24/7 local weather channels whose template was developed by NBC and Hearst-Argyle.