NBC UNIVERSAL WILL BEEF UP its TV stations' Web sites with extra video footage, Web-exclusive content, podcasts and other new features.
Web sites for three of NBC's 14 stations--WMAQ Chicago, WNBC New York, and KXAS Dallas--have already been upgraded. The remaining NBC owned stations will be revised in the next several months.
The new sites feature a top-level video player on the stations' home pages. Additionally, each station will produce daily Web casts hosted by anchors. Other video features will include clips on health, entertainment, sports, and consumer news.
NBC Universal wants its individual stations to pump out Web-specific content that could be shared by the entire group. One such program is "The Download," a Web-only daily magazine program produced by WVIT Hartford, Conn. WNBC will produce an online version of "Reel Talk," its movie-review show hosted by Jeffrey Lyons. Other features include weather forecasts from NBC's digital weather service WeatherPlus and downloadable coupons from Coupons Inc.
NBC Universal's move could mean that it is leading by example for its affiliates--especially in the wake of numerous programming on-demand $1.99 download deals, say analysts. Nervous network affiliates have been pressed to come up with answers as networks increasingly shorten the programming exclusivity of their network shows on traditional TV windows.
Programming analysts suggest that the best business defense for stations is to offer up rich and deep localized video content on network affiliates' own Web sites.