AOL (NYSE: AOL) and NBCU (NYSE: GE) have struck a syndication deal. AOL will syndicate posts from its FanHouse blog to NBC Universal’s Local Media TV station websites — marking the first time those two entities have worked together. For AOL, it’s a start to fulfilling its new content strategy under its web publishing unit MediaGlow. That strategy is intended to build up AOL’s niche sites as standalone brands. For NBC, the FanHouse content, which will be on NBC Local Media sites directly and also include links back to blog posts on the sports blog’s own site, helps to broaden the coverage and commentary on their local sites. Similar to AOL’s MediaGlow policies, NBC’s local station websites have been trying to develop their own identities instead of just being the online presence of the network’s affiliate broadcasters. FanHouse will be available to NBC station sites in nine localities: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Forth, as well as in Connecticut and Washington State.
— The start of a special relationship?: The deal is not exclusive to NBC and it doesn’t include AOL’s Platform-A as an ad seller; the NBC sites themselves will handle all the inventory on their sites. As for whether this could mean a wider relationship between NBCU and AOL, both of which are struggling just as hard as anyone else to get their web content and ads in front of as many users as possible, insiders at both companies say they’ll “see how this goes first before making any further commitments.”