New license for NBC Uni series

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NBC Universal Television DVD, Music and Consumer Products Group has taken over responsibility for all global licensing and merchandising of NBC Uni TV properties as well as the NBC Uni catalog.

The group has selected the Joy Tashjian Marketing Group as its exclusive consumer products agency of record.

Group senior vp Kim Niemi will lead its efforts to develop and implement product lines associated with NBC Uni's TV brands, including NBC, Universal Media Studios, USA Network, Sci Fi Channel, Bravo properties, CNBC and Telemundo.

Among the TV series Niemi's group will be seeking to license, together with JTMG, are "Heroes," "The Office," "30 Rock," "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," "Monk," "Battlestar Galactica," "Top Chef," "Top Design" and "Mad Money."

The licensing and merchandising for NBC Uni TV properties previously was handled by Universal Studios Consumer Products, which will continue to handle all licensing and merchandising for the company's film properties including the "Curious George" and "The Land Before Time" franchises.

Niemi said NBC Uni made the change because of the synergies it was able to create across all of its properties by having "that knowledge about the brand, about the producers, and the creative all in one area rather than trying to translate that to various agencies throughout the company."

Tashjian's appointment significantly expands her work for NBC Uni, by about 40%. "The agency is assuming responsibility of licensing every show on the network to which they hold licensing rights," Tashjian said.

Previously, JTMG was focused on Bravo, Sci Fi and CNBC properties.

"The focus on primetime and the different type of merchandising that we're looking to do is not only to put out product, it's really to build a consumer products program," Tashjian said.

Some of the consumer product deals Niemi and Tashjian have put together recently include board games and DVD games for "The Office," "Heroes" trading cards and "Top Chef" video games for the Wii and other Nintendo platforms.

Niemi's group also will continue to oversee all new business development for music, eCommerce sales, the NBC Universal.com store and third-party home entertainment licensing.
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