NBC to Stream Classic TV Shows

NBC announced plans to stream ad-supported full episodes of vintage television shows on its entertainment Web sites. Among the shows being offered are the original Battlestar Galactica, The A-Team, Miami Vice, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and Kojak.

The shows will be available on NBC-owned Web properties that represent logical fits for the program being streamed. For example, Battlestar Galactica and Kojak will be available on SciFi.com, as well as NBC.com; ChillerTV.com will have TheAlfred Hitchcock Hour; SleuthChannel.com will stream The A-Team; and so on.

"NBC Universal has a tremendous library of quality content, and we are very excited to reintroduce these classic shows to a new Web audience," said Vivi Zigler, executive vice president of NBC Digital Entertainment in a statement.

The decision is a curious one, as NBC and News Corp. video site Hulu already streams many of the shows being offered, and it is expected to be released out of beta within a few months.

The decision to stream the archived shows follows with what NBC chairman Jeff Zucker said in his keynote at the National Association for Television Program Executives’ show.

Saying that NBC needed “to be everywhere,” Zucker called for distributing content via as many outlets as would be technically feasible, adding, “Our challenge with all of these ventures is to effectively monetize them so that we do not end up trading analog dollars for digital pennies. This is the No. 1 challenge for everyone in this industry today.”