NBC laffers to web

NBCX.com to draw content from latenight

NBC today will unveil plans for NBCX.com, a youth-targeted digital entertainment Web site that will make heavy use of NBC comedy product.

NBCX.com will consist primarily of original comedy-focused animated and live-action streaming video drawn from both NBC and other providers. Peacock latenight staples “Saturday Night Live,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” will be heavy contributors to the site.

NBC Internet will have a minority ownership stake in the company, with broadband portal NBCI.com making heavy use of content from NBCX.com.

Former “Oprah Winfrey Show” exec producer and Harpo Prods. topper Debbie DiMaio has been tapped to serve as prexy of NBCX.com.

Unlike entertainment-driven Web sites that start up with scant product, NBCX.com is a site being constructed to leverage a vast array of content — specifically, NBC’s latenight comedy franchises.

“This is a natural extension of our business,” said NBC West Coast prexy Scott Sassa. “We’d be foolish if we didn’t do this.”

Sassa noted that “SNL” regularly tapes several sketches each week in rehearsal which never make it on the air, or are otherwise killed. Those segs might now find a new life on NBCX.com.

“We’ve got the library and we’ve got the production capacity,” he said.

Longer-term, NBCX.com may serve as a breeding ground where the Peacock can develop new comedy talent for primetime programs. “You can almost think of NBCX.com as NBC’s Internet Studio — an incubator for new comedic talent, writers, producers and directors,” Sassa said.

NBCX.com will also benefit from heavy on-air promotion during the Peacock’s latenight sked. NBC execs also hope the Web site will direct viewers to the television network.

NBCI.com should get a boost as well, gaining a major new source of programming.

“NBCI’s broadband capabilities, coupled with NBC’s core competencies in multimedia entertainment, production and packaging, make this a great opportunity to strengthen our NBCI.com broadband portal,” said NBCI CEO Will Lansing.

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