NBC: New Media Player; Broadband Comedy, First Look Channels; iVillage

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A flurry of announcements from NBC today as the network kicks off upfront festivities. TV 360, as they’re calling the digital pieces, includes two new broadband channels, integration with iVillage and a new Flash-based media player. NBC is tossing around the right buzz words; of course, it’s the execution that matters. Some details:
New Media Player: A Flash-based media player debuts this month across the NBU sites. NBC promises “the largest and best quality companion ad space currently available on the web.” Most important, the uniformity will let NBCU sell video across all of its sites at once, including iVillage, NBC o&os, and Access Hollywood. That’s 50-plus million uniques a month.
DotComedy.com: One more sign that comedy is this season’s online must-have — a new broadband comedy channel to be launched this summer. The pitch: “DOTCOMEDY.com will create a community around one of life’s universal pleasures — laughter.” Content: A mix of late-night NBC, classic comedy from the library, viral video, original content (including blogs, mashups and podcasts). Contributing shows include SNL, the first 10 years of Late Night with David Letterman, The Office, last Comic Standing and, from the vault, Leave it to Beaver.
FirstLook: NBCU is launching a “first look” broadband “franchise’ for every network-connected site. NBCFirstLook.com, USAFirstLook.com, BravoFirstLook.com … you get the picture. Not live yet; urls redirect to NBC.com) Every year, each network will premiere up to four full-length episodes from its respective network. Most likely ad supported.
iVillage: Efforts announced in conjunction with the deal’s official close today include a one-hour daily show called “iVillage Live” that will debut in December that will air on the o&os and be streamed on iVillage.com. it will be filmed at Universal Studios Orlando. iVillage’s Astrology.com and Access Hollywood will share Access Hollywood Celebrity Horoscopes with segments airing on AH and streaming on the site.
Primetime: The press release covers a laundry list of other digital efforts.
— The captain from Law & Order: CI will “brief” rookie detectives at home on the new case. They’ll be able to submit their guess about who did it before the show airs and the winners wil be entered into a drawing for a prize.– The show behind the show of Tina Fey’s new 30 Rock will exist online, with brief excerpts of sketches showing on air and in entirety online.
— Redesigned sites for SNL and Conan, the latter with an emphasis on video.
— From NBC Daytime, a new online only soap called “The Cove.” Two, five-minute episodes a week.
Update: Digital was underscored as a priority on a par with developing the primetime slate during the NBC press conference with NBCU execs Jeff Zucker. Randy Falco and Kevin Reilly. “It will continue to be as important a focus for us going forward as linear development.” They want to close the loop between the platforms.

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