After ditching the TV Upfront spectacle for the last two years in favor of much smaller presentations related to its fall programming, NBC (NYSE: GE) has asked Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) to help get the word out online. The web promotions will kick off during next week’s broadcast upfront events. Microsoft will feature ads as well as branded content around NBC Universal’s new shows and will appear across MSN, Xbox, Windows Mobile and Bing.
In addition to the Microsoft brands, the company will deliver NBCU’s message through all its 19 digital owned-and-operated properties, as well as with its syndicated partners.
Microsoft was fairly vague on what the promotions will entail, saying only that it will include multiple takeovers of MSN and Wonderwall, integration of NBCU’s shows with Bing Visual Search, and in-game advertising on new Xbox LIVE games. NBCU will do its part by helping to direct special preview segments on MSN TV and MSN Entertainment.
While this is strictly an advertising play for Microsoft, it could lead to more straightforward content work with NBCU. After all, the relationship stretches back to 1996, with the creation of MSNBC. Microsoft Advertising also struck a deal with CNBC to run a portion of display ad sales on the cable channel’s website. Release