NBC, arguably the most Web-savvy web around due to its longstanding connection with Microsoft Corp., announced a new alliance Monday by teaming with search-engine heavyweight Yahoo! Inc. to construct and develop NBC Live, a Yahoo!-based chat service that will sport frequent appearances by NBC talent.
Starting Saturday, NBC Live will be a dedicated chat area within Yahoo!’s service where users can interact with one or more NBC stars on a twice-weekly basis, at 7:30 p.m. Pacific time (10:30 p.m. Eastern). Saturday’s edition is being called an “all-star launch” to the chatsite, but the web is being coy about who actually will show up to interact. Regardless, the talent’s “appearance” at the site will be from wherever they physically happen to be at that time – limo, agent’s office or home.
The move by NBC is its first major step outside of its significant association with Microsoft, but does not in any way abrogate or weaken that alliance. Instead, NBC is finding a new way to access and introduce infrequent TV viewers to their wares.
“This is yet another example of giving consumers what they want in the converging worlds of TV and new media,” commented Edmond Sanctis, senior VP and G.M. of NBC Digital Prods.
Yahoo! director of communities Ellen Siminoff added, “Our program with NBC is an exciting opportunity to connect Yahoo! chat users with some of the most dynamic stars on TV.”
Yahoo!’s highly popular chat service, an extension of traditional Internet relay chat services, boasts more than 1 million registered users who, by their very nature as Net surfers, spend less time watching TV than is the norm.