NBBC merges into online video venture


NEW YORK -- The National Broadband Company, NBC Universal's Web syndication service better known as NBBC, will merge into the unnamed NBC Uni/News Corp. joint online video venture, set to launch later this year.

NBBC's content partners and employees, though, will have to negotiate new contracts with the unnamed broadband project, referred to as NewSite.

News of the shutdown became public on Monday when an internal memo leaked to Multichannel News' website and TV blog LostRemote.com.

"As part of our contribution, nbbc must sever all on-going business relationships in preparation for the merger," read the memo. "Therefore, this note serves as your 30-day notice of service termination with nbbc. NewSite is an independent operating entity and may reach out to you to explore potential business partnerships."

NBBC launched last September and had about 150 content partners including NBC Uni and its broadcast affiliate group, A&E Television Networks, the Washinton Post's website, CNET Networks, the Vibe Media Group and Newsweek.com. The service had several big-name adverterisers, as well, including JP Morgan Chase, Procter & Gamble, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts and Toyota Motor Sales.

The company also had more than 40 full-time employees.

NBBC suffered a setback in January when Michael Steib, GM, strategic ventures for NBC Uni and one of the founders of the service, left his post to head an ad sales unit at Google Inc.

In March, when NewSite was formed, it was announced that NBBC would provide the technology for the project, which will present NBC, News and other premium content. It will have a standalone video site along with partnerships to present video with Time Warner's AOL, Microsoft Corp., News' MySpace, Yahoo Inc. and others.

Last week former Amazon executive Jason Kilar was named CEO of the new venture, replacing George Kliavkoff, the interim head of the project and chief digital officer at NBC Uni.