NBC enters DEN deal, giving cash, ad time

Deal to push site into consumer market place

NBC officially announced Tuesday that it has acquired a minority stake in Gen-Y Netcaster Digital Entertainment Network and will promote the site across its network as part of the pact.

NBC’s interest in Santa Monica-based DEN was part of the $24 million round of financing that included investments by Enron and Intel (Daily Variety, Feb. 10).

Former Warner Bros. topper Terry Semel invested $2 million in the company at the time, as well.

Specific financial terms were not disclosed, but under the agreement, NBC will provide a combination of a cash investment and advertising time across both the NBC network and NBC’s 13 owned and operated stations, plus cablers CNBC, MSNBC and the History Channel, among others.

Biz ops prime

In addition, NBC and DEN will pursue additional strategic business opportunities relating to promotions, marketing, co-production, content distribution and advancement of digital media distribution.

Deal should help propel DEN into the consumer marketplace and help brand the dot-com, which has done little advertising other than on the Web, to draw its younger-skewing target audience to its original slate of online programming.

The Peacock web has invested in several companies over the past several months that advance the convergence of broadcast television and the Internet.

It also holds equity stakes in CNET, Talk City, iVillage, Telescan, 24/7 Media, TiVo, Wink Communications, Gemstar, Intertainer and other new media companies.

“NBC has a strong commitment to original broadband entertainment content on the Internet, and forming this relationship with DEN will help us to further that commitment,” said Marty Yudkovitz, prexy of NBC Interactive. “We’re excited about the potential of this partnership to advance our convergence strategy.”

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