Euro Peacock takes wing

NBC has given the first glimpse of its plans to revamp Super Channel, the pan-European cable network in which the Peacock Web acquired a majority stake two months ago.

The new-look NBC Super Channel, which reaches 56 million homes across Europe, will be a news and entertainment service tailored specifically for professional people, with a heavy emphasis on worldwide business information.

Patrick Cox, the channel’s chairman, said NBC planned to use Super Channel as the springboard to transform itself into a truly global network.

Under a contract announced Monday, Independent Television News, the British commercial TV news org, will supply NBC Super Channel with more than 90 minutes of programming daily.

The channel is also negotiating to expand its relationship with London-based Financial Times TV, which already provides it with business programming.

These European elements will be combined with news programming from NBC and its U.S. cable offshoot, the Consumer News and Business Channel (CNBC).

The schedule will include “NBC Nightly News,””Now With Katie Couric and Tom Brokaw,””Dateline NBC,””Today,””Meet the Press” and “Equal Time.”

NBC Super Channel was to bring Jay Leno to European screens for the first time on Wednesday, with plans to run “The Tonight Show” every evening.

In a taped message to European viewers, Leno joked, “We’re going to ruin your culture just like we ruined our own.”

NBC acquired its 56% stake in Super Channel for an estimated $ 40 million, and foresees the loss-making network reaching profitability within four years.

The program mix will also include sports coverage, documentaries and a smattering of vintage American drama series.

But in order to keep the balance between American and European shows, NBC will also remodel four of SuperChannel’s own magazine programs.

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