NBCU Jumps Into Digital Video With Advertisers

NBCUniversal said it will launch a slate of original programming for digital platforms and video on demand.

The digital shows will be promoted across NBCU’s linear television networks.

Some of the shows are being developed in collaboration with advertising partners. In those cases, the advertisers will get linear TV impressions as well as part of co-branded tune in messages.

Premium digital video is one of the most in demand properties for advertisers. Unlike other online advertising opportunities, the supply of high-quality digital video is still seen as scarce.

“This original, digital-first programming, scaled with the unmatched resources of our company and our production partners, underscores the unparalleled opportunities we can create,” Linda Yaccarino, NBCU president for advertising sales, said in a statement. “The combination of digital video alongside television content is extremely powerful and becoming an increasingly important part of the connection advertisers make with consumers. We want to offer our partners the unique ability to harness the power of our creative assets along with our distribution capabilities including the video-on-demand platform like no other company can do.”

The first series from Universal Television to launch on NBC.com will be Saturday Night Line, in conjunction with Broadway Video’s Above Average Productions, a leading online comedy network and digital studio, and a Heroes Reborn: Digital Series from executive producer Tim Kring’s Tailwind Productions.

Saturday Night Line is a socially interactive digital series featuring the fans who wait in the Saturday Night Live standby line outside of 30 Rock, the company said.

Heroes Reborn: Digital Series is the online prequel to the previously announced Heroes mini-series.

Universal Cable Productions will unveil more than a dozen scalable, original digital video projects including new series Tesla and Twain (pictured) and Last Single Girl.

Tesla and Twain is a comedic series loosely based on the real friendship between the great author and the great inventor if they were suddenly transported to modern day Los Angeles. Last Single Girl tells the story of a single, over-educated and under-employed young woman who is coming to terms with being a grown-up while all of her best friends are getting married.

UCP is also developing additional original series in collaboration with 72 and Sunny Productions.

“Much of the uncaptured value in the online world can be unlocked with smart collaborations between creators and clients. This year, we’re making a big push to building that bridge,” said Jeff Wachtel, president and Chief Content Officer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.