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AOL, NBCUniversal Ink Broad Distribution Pact

AOL, in a significant expansion of its licensed content, announced a deal with NBCUniversal for access to video — some of it exclusive — from the Peacock’s broadcast and cable TV networks.

Starting this summer, video clips and segments from NBCU entertainment and news programming will be available to stream on AOL’s website and mobile apps, as well as on the 16 over-the-top platforms on which the AOL video is available.

AOL and NBCU announced the pact at the Internet media company’s Digital Content NewFronts presentation Tuesday in lower Manhattan. The companies didn’t spell out what content will be available, but they said it would include material from NBC, Bravo, CNBC, E!, Esquire, MSNBC, Oxygen, Syfy, Telemundo and USA Network.

Under the deal, the companies said they are exploring possibilities for “AOL brand experts” to appear across NBCU’s TV properties. In addition, AOL and NBCU said they will co-develop and co-produce original Web video series for distribution over their respective platforms, and that they are in discussions about creating weekly live programming.

“Our networks create some of the biggest water-cooler conversations and strongest brand connections in the industry, and we are excited to bring them to AOL, a leader in the digital space,” Linda Yaccarino, NBCUniversal’s chair of advertising sales and client partnerships, said in a statement. “This collaboration gives our advertising partners more ways to reach those key audiences at greater scale in more meaningful ways.”

Also at the event Tuesday, AOL outlined its slate of original programming for 2015-16, which includes a second season of James Franco’s “Making a Scene” movie-satire series.

In the U.S., AOL is the third-biggest video destination after YouTube and Facebook, according to comScore. The company registered 65.8 million unique viewers in March 2015, trailing only Google/YouTube (150 million) and Facebook (94.6 million).

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