NBC tunes into Web

Net brings Launch online as music partner

NEW YORK — NBC, along with a group of other companies including Allen & Co., Intel and GE Capital, has acquired an equity stake in the new media music outfit Launch Media Inc. in a $22 million round of financing.

As part of the deal, Launch will become the exclusive online music partner for NBC’s Web sites NBC.com and NBC Interactive Neighborhood.

NBC.com, the network’s primary site on the World Wide Web, features original programming such as “Homicide: Life Online” and “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno Online.”

NBC and Launch will jointly create a new co-branded music site on NBC.com that will offer purchasing opportunities attuned to the artists and music featured on NBC TV shows as well as select Launch music content from Launch’s existing Web site. The music content and retailing areas will debut in April on NBC.com’s “Homicide: Life Online” and “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.”

The other companies participating in the Launch refinancing are Phoenix Partners, Arts Alliance and Avalon Technology. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Launch, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a privately held interactive music media company founded in 1994.

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