NBC Universal set for major digital expansion

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NBC Universal—formed from the 2003 merger of General Electric's US television network NBC with Vivendi Universal Entertainment—is to step up its digital activities with the aim of boosting online revenues five-fold by 2009.

NBC CEO Bob Wright told the Financial Times that the digital expansion strategy will centre on a redesign of women's site iVillage, acquired in March for $600m, which will add video and community tools, and be more closely linked to NBC's television programming. The expansion will also see the launch of a subscription offering at CNBC's business news web site.

"You're going to see a lot more editorial combinations," Wright was quoted as saying. "It may be as common to see iVillage bringing material to the Today show [NBC's breakfast programme] as the Today show bringing material to iVillage," he said.

The FT said analysts expected NBC's digital initiatives to generate $1bn in revenues by 2009, up from $200m this year, and to generate profit margins of 35% to 40%.

In June NBC announced plans to create a dedicated channel on video-sharing web site YouTube in an attempt to reach viewers who mostly stay away from their televisions during the summer months.

Lovelace Consulting  |  11.09.2006

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