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News Corp., NBC Universal Add Content to Web Network

30 May, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

It may not have a name yet, but the online premium video joint venture announced earlier this year by News Corp. and NBC Universal is gaining content exponentially.

The two media giants May 30 announced that action sports cable network Fuel TV, female-owned and operated network Oxygen, cable car racing channel Speed, Sundance Channel and TV Guide have all committed original programming to the venture.

The unnamed ad-supported network based in Los Angeles and New York will be available this summer on AOL, Microsoft's MSN, MySpace, CNET and Yahoo — distribution both companies say represents 96% of unique monthly Internet visitors in the United States.

Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable operator, has agreed to offer content from E! Entertainment, Style, G4, Versus (formerly OLN) and Golf Channel.

Oxygen will contribute short-form content, including “The Bad Girls Club,” “Fight Girls,” “50 Funniest Women” and “Our Bodies, Myself.”

Sundance will offer episodes of its new weekly environmental program, “The Green,” featuring all 13 episodes from the original series; “Big Ideas for a Small Planet”; short-form series “Ecoists” and “Eco Biz” original webisodes exploring each week's eco theme hosted by Simran Sethi; and all episodes from Sundance series “One Punk Under God,” which looks at alternative Christian minister Jay Bakker.

TV Guide Broadband will feature TV Guide's recommendations for the best shows, movies and music on TV; interviews with top celebrities; behind-the-scenes from the hottest TV shows; and highlights from TV Guide Network's original programming such as “America's Next Producer” and red carpet interviews from the major Hollywood awards shows.

The network will offer full episodes and clips from TV programming such as “Heroes,” “24,” “House,” “My Name Is Earl,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Friday Night Lights,” “The Riches,” “30 Rock,” “The Simpsons,” “The Tonight Show,” “Prison Break,” “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” and “Top Chef,” among others.

In addition to personalized video playlists, mash-ups, online communities and video search, the site will feature movies such as Borat, Little Miss Sunshine, The Devil Wears Prada, The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy, including bonus materials and movie trailers.

“Each of our new content partners has a reputation for creating … entertainment experiences designed to fulfill television viewers' more eclectic needs,” said George Kliavkoff, chief digital officer of NBC Universal and interim CEO of the joint venture. “… Their compelling content … will help ensure our ability to satisfy the more personalized demands of the growing number of Web video consumers.”

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