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Viacom Dives Into Portals For Shows; Daily Show; Who Needs A Portal?

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Viacom, which recently announced plans to develop standalone sites for its hit shows, has done so for The Daily Show…which in itself is not a big deal, but it is presenting nearly the entire video archive of the show for the past nine years, except for a minority for which it doesn’t have rights clearances. Though entire shows can’t be streamed, it has more than 16,000 video clips spanning all the segments of the show archives. For now, the archives start in early 1999, covering the Jon Stewart-era. The earlier version of the program, which started in 1996 with host Craig Kilborn, could be available by early 2008. And all of these are clips which can be embedded, something which has become or at should become standard now.

As to why this made sense: “People should be reacting to ‘The Daily Show’ on its own site…God bless them doing it everywhere else, but this should be the epicenter of it,” said Erik Flannigan, EVP of digital media at MTV Networks, in a THR story.

The site will be ad-supported: LAT says designers have been experimenting with ads that appear for two or three seconds at the start of a clip, recede, then emerge briefly from a corner of the picture like a network-TV promo while the video continues playing. More on the launch in the release.

Meanwhile the professional contrarian Rich Greenfield, the analyst with Pali Research, wrote on his blog that this does not bode well for content aggregators: “While there may always be a place for content aggregators, we believe the ease of going directly to content-focused sites such as The Daily Show and the ease of a Google (NSDQ: GOOG) search for content makes it hard to understand the value of the entertainment or television sections of AOL.com, Yahoo.com or MSN.com.”