Posts Tagged ‘NBC’

YouTube adds select TV shows from CBS; takes aim at Hulu for long-form video content

We wouldn’t call YouTube a sleeping giant necessarily, but when it comes to long-form video the world’s dominant video-sharing site certainly seems to be cat-napping.

Other sites such as Hulu, the joint venture between Fox and NBC, have been getting much of the long-form video attention and name recognition, whereas YouTube remains known for short-form content that lasts 10 minutes or less.

Google, YouTube’s parent, is seeking to change this as it has added select full-length content from CBS in an attempt to take on Hulu and attract other network content to YouTube. [YouTube blog]

Available full-length shows include 20- to 48-minute episodes from CBS’s past and present lineup, including “Star Trek,” “MacGyver,” and “Beverly Hills 90210.” The season premiers of “Dexter” and “Californication” and current episodes of “Young and Restless” will also be shown on YouTube.

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iTunes, financial woes, and Tina Fey/Sarah Palin give NBC super-successful week

If anybody has any lingering doubts about iTunes’ value to NBC, and NBC’s value to iTunes, doubt no more.

Since returning to iTunes Sept. 9 after nearly a year’s separation, NBC racked up more than one million downloads for NBC Universal shows, according to the Hollywood Reporter and Apple.

The spike most likely is a result of a free-offering agreement between NBC and Apple as part of the network’s return to iTunes. NBC pledged to offer one free standard or high-definition download for its top series for two weeks.

It’s worth noting, however, that these numbers were achieved without NBC’s popular programs, which have yet to premiere. It’s expected that NBC Universal will account for about 40 percent of iTunes video sales, the level it was at when the network left  late last year over a pricing disagreement.

The Reporter also noted that NBC benefited in two other ways this week — the U.S. financial crisis and Tina Fey’s parody of vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin on “Saturday Night Live.” exceeded one million unique visitors for the first time after Monday’s stock market meltdown. The Website tallied 14.6 million page views that day, a 26 percent increase over the site’s previous best.

Fey’s dead-on depiction of Palin racked up 5.7 million views on and Hulu as of Wednesday, according to NBC data. It is the network’s most popular video of all-time — and if you’ve seen it, you know why.

NBC continues experiment by putting TV shows online before their network premiers

If you just can’t wait to see what the new “Knight Rider” or “Chuck” TV shows are all about, you’re in luck. For the third consecutive year, NBC is making new series available online a week before their network premiers.

You can also find “Kath & Kim,” “Crusoe,” “My Own Worst Enemy,” “Life,” Lipstick Jungle,” and “30 Rock” everywhere you look — NBC’s Website, iTunes, Amazon’s Unbox, Microsoft Xbox and Zune, Hulu, and through TV providers such as Comcast, Cox, Charter, Dish, and Verizon FIOS.

Did NBC leave anybody out?

“We want to make (programs) available in as many ways as we can so we can get fans,” NBC’s marketing boss John Miller told USA Today. “If you don’t embrace people’s behavior, you can be lost by it.”

NBC’s early-release strategy is at odds with most other networks.

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YouTube gets dedicated Olympic channel, but it won't be available in the U.S.

The 2008 Olympic Games will be broadcast online to more than 70 countries on a dedicated YouTube channel, but the United States is not included.

NBC holds the video-on-demand rights in the U.S., but these have not been sold on an exclusive basis in other countries, including Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Vietnam, Iraq, and India (see the complete International Olympic Committee list here).

The IOC will stream about three hours a day of exclusive content — mostly summaries and highlights — from Olympic Broadcasting Services. YouTube will sell ads, but only to Olympic sponsors. The channel will be available on Wednesday.

YouTube will use geo-blocking to prevent access to the channel in countries where the video-on-demand rights have been sold, like in the U.S. Geo-blocking is based on a user’s IP address.

The geo-blocking in the U.S. shouldn’t be that big of a deal, unless you’re one who wants to see everything broadcast night and day or you’re surfing videos at YouTube and want to catch up on the Olympic action without leaving the site.

NBC will show more than 2,000 hours of live content at That’s more than enough content to keep any Olympic fan happy — and in need of sleep.

See also: Roundup: The most digital of all Olympic games is well underway and, from ReadWriteWeb, Mainstream Web Watch: The Olympics & Online Video

Roundup: The most digital of all Olympic games is well underway

The 2008 Olympics are due to start in Beijing in seven days, five hours, and change, but the reporting and blogging surrounding the most digital of all Olympics is well underway.

Read on to learn more about youth and the digital Olympics and the possibility the Internet will break when billions of people worldwide access the Web to stream video and static content.

In just the past few days there have been announcements regarding schedules, video players, compatibility issues, even behind-the-scene looks at what it will take to produce 2,000 hours of live content for television consumption and 5,000 hours of streaming content for the Web.

If you start now, you just might finish in time for the start of the games on 08-08-08.

Using digital to appeal to youth

Reuters detailed the impact of the digital revolution on the 2008 Olympics, drawing the conclusion that streaming events and highlights over the Internet will attract younger viewers, who are not expected to watch the events live. The average age of people watching the 2004 Games in Athens was more than 40 years old, a statistic that’s not expected to change for the Beijing Games.

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NFL will stream select live games over Web for first time

Good news for football fans. The NFL is loosing up, but just a bit.

The National Football Leauge — notoriously protective of its game action — will stream 17 prime-time, regular-season games this year on and, SportsBusiness Journal reported today. It will be the first time that live action NFL games will be broadly streamed in the U.S.

The streaming begins Sept. 4 in a Thursday game between the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants, with the online video consisting of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” broadcast feed. Announcers Al Michaels and John Madden will make the call. Viewers will be able to choose from four live camera angles and review updated stats in real time.

It is expected that NBC’s ads will be stripped out of the stream and replaced with new online ads sold by the NFL and NBC,who will share in the new revenue.

The announcement was not openly cheered by the NFL’s other television partners, who, combined, provide $3.7 billion a year in broadcast rights revenue — making the NFL America’s most valuable television property.

Over-the-air networks Fox and CBS and the cable network ESPN also broadcast several games a week, but NBC airs only one on Sunday nights (totaling 17). Because NBC broadcasts only one game, NFL executives told SportsBusiness Journal that it was the best fit for a single-year experiment.

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What traditional/new media innovation will NBC's "billion-dollar lab" lead to?

olympics on nbcWe realize talk about measuring audiences on television or the Web can get pretty dull. But there is something that intrigues us about NBC’s “billion-dollar lab” beyond the sheer size of the effort.

That “billion-dollar lab,” as NBC calls the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, will provide unprecedented insight into how people are using traditional media — television — and new media — the Internet.

NBC, the sole broadcaster, will mine 3,600 total hours of coverage from its network, along with NBC-owned properties Telemundo, USA, Oxygen, MSNBC, CNBC, and Bravo. The company is also planning to make 2,200 hours of streaming video available on Consumers also will get video-on-demand to their computers and content through their mobile phones.

“The billion-dollar lab is an extraordinary research opportunity,” said Alan Wurtzel, NBC’s research chief.

“I have no idea how people are going to use the Internet on the Olympics,” Wurtzel said [via New York Times].

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NBC Olympics on the Go will allow (some) fans to download events to watch on their computers

olympics homeIt seemed so promising: NBC, the sole U.S. broadcaster for the 2008 Summer Olympics Games in Beijing, will allow consumers to download any event to watch on their personal computers for free.

That’s any event.

On their personal computers.

For free.

Then reality sets in and you discover it’s too good to be true. “NBC Olympics on the Go” will only be available for the Microsoft Vista operating system and then in just two flavors — Home Premium and Ultimate. This means millions of XP users, not to mention Mac and Linux folks, will be left on the sideline, so to speak.

These Olympic Games are going to be the most ambitious single media project in history, with NBC saturating the airwaves and Internet cloud with 3,600 hours of coverage from Aug. 8-24.

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In just two months, Hulu becomes 10th largest online video streaming site

In just two months, Hulu becomes 10th largest online video streaming siteIn just over two months, Hulu has moved from private beta to the No. 10 online video streaming site.

In doing so, Hulu bests all of the major networks — NBC and Fox (Hulu’s parents), ABC, and CBS. It’s an impressive feat.

At the same time, Hulu is expanding its content footprint by adding seven partners, meaning its library of current and vintage TV shows will be more widely available. Hulu videos will be distributed on entertainment and social networking sites,, BuddyTV,,,, and

“While it is extremely early in terms of Hulu’s history of serving users, we’re quite excited to see such positive trends in Hulu’s growth and viewership,” Jason Kilar, Hulu’s chief executive officer, told Reuters.

In April, people watched 63.2 million videos on Hulu and its partners’ sites and spent on average 129.3 minutes per month, beating nearest rival (60.8 million videos, an average of 57.3 minutes).

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Just like version 1 of NBC Direct, version 2 will leave you screaming in frustration

nbc directI screamed then, I’m screaming now. NBC Direct, version 2, still disappoints. It’s like NBC is working overtime to piss off its users, or at least force them to use its other online video service Hulu.

NBC opened a second beta trial of NBC Direct, its Web-based video-on-demand (VOD) download service. The new-and-supposedly-improved Direct is now powered by peer-to-peer content distribution from Pando.

NBC Direct, in the works now for nearly a year, is a free download service for NBC programs. It requires a software install (still Windows only); the shows expire in seven days and 48 hours after you begin watching; and include advertising. Direct was universally panned when version 1 debuted last November.

The panning continues.

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