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Comcast Signs Content Deal with NBC U-News Corp. JV

Comcast raised its hand as the first outside partner that will work with the online-video-distribution network formed by News Corp. and NBC Universal.

Comcast.net and its yet-to-be-launched Fancast.com entertainment portal will be distribution sites for online-video content from the joint venture.

In addition, Comcast Networks will provide content for domestic distribution, including programming from E! Entertainment Television, Style, G4, Versus and The Golf Channel.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Comcast said the online-licensing terms are nonexclusive.

"We're delighted that the nation's largest cable provider will be a major player in this new venture," News Corp. president and chief operating officer Peter Chernin said in a prepared statement. "News Corp. and NBC have long histories with Comcast, and we're committed to expanding our relationship in this new-media universe. We believe there is a wealth of opportunities to exploit broadband distribution to benefit both of our businesses."

Comcast, NBC and News Corp. also announced that the new online-video venture will use media-management and video-distribution software from Comcast’s thePlatform subsidiary.

The unnamed NBC-News Corp. JV is supposed to launch this summer with free, ad-supported full-length streaming TV shows and clips, as well as pay-to-download movies. The companies announced AOL, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo as initial distribution partners.

Meanwhile, AOL’s Advertising.com subsidiary signed on to manage the advertising functions, although the JV will have its own direct-sales team of about 12 initially.