NBC Uni eyes DotComedy shutdown

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NBC Universal plans to shut down its stand-alone comedy venture DotComedy.com in the near future, according to sources, eventually folding the site's content and traffic into NBC.com.

NBC Uni executives declined comment, but sources indicated that DotComedy, which launched in mid-2006 as part of the company's enhanced focus on digital media, might not continue as a branded channel on NBC.com. Some of the site's original programming, which included original content produced by a team of video bloggers, likely will be redistributed to other sites within the NBC Uni family.

Since its launch, DotComedy has struggled to gain any traction. The site's traffic twice fell below Nielsen Online's minimum reporting threshold over the past three months, peaking at just 246,000 unique users in August.

The original concept of DotComedy was to create a Web destination that housed a mix of original fare, classic stand-up performances and clips from such NBC standards as "Saturday Night Live" and "Late Night With Conan O'Brien." Even as of May, the site continued to add new material, signing deals with several popular video bloggers to create viral videos for the site. But in recent months, NBC has begun posting more original material on its own site. And at the same time, the network has been embracing the idea of open distribution rather than focusing on driving traffic to only its own sites -- as evidenced by Hulu, the recently launched joint video venture with News. Corp. that results in NBC Uni series being delivered on various sites across the Web.
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