NBCU-IVIL: A Digital Rallying Event For NBCU; Webcast Audio

Some quick notes from the press call with NBCU Chairman and CEO Bob Wright, Beth Comstock, president, NBCU Digital Media and Market Development; Jeff Zucker, CEO, NBCU Television Group and Doug McCormick, chairman and CEO, iVillage. In his comments. Wright positioned the deal as a marriage of IVIL’s sales/marketing skills and community building with NBCU’s programming abilities. He talked about the value to the company’s digital strategy: “This deal gives us immediate scale in the online world and we can use that to extend our digital offerings across our program sites.”

— Comstock: “iVillage matches well with our digital strategy and our strategy is all about creating creating compelling content and finding ehngaging destinations so we can marry community with content. … It turbocharges what we’re trying to do. It gives us scale and it creates the kind of growth engine that we expect from our digital efforts. We believe this is a rallying cry, a rallying event for all of NBC Universal from a digital perspective. … It allows us to combine just about every part of NBC Universal to scale up iVillage from here. … Right away, I think you can expect to see the beauty of both of us. We’ll right away be able to bring video to bear. We’ll be able to promote iVillage as a meaningful destination.”

— Wright: “We do not have a list of other acquisitions.”

— Zucker: “It’s not just a promotional thiong at all. We’ll be looking for a great deal of orginal content. … To come away from this thinking just promotional thing would be a huge mistake.”

My question about how iVillage would be used to reach other demographics drew several responses: Comstock spoke of using it as a base to grow into other area’s of audience interest; McCormick pointed to tween/teen site gURL.com and iVillage’s appeal to dads as a source of parenting info. Zucker picked up on the parenting appeal and called it “a great example, too of where we’ll be able to work.” For instance, “The Today Show” would be a natural fit. Comstock added: “You begin to see the opportunities between iVillage and NBCU. What you’re seeing here is the opportunities go both ways.”

mp3logo1.gif You can download the audio here ( 28 mins., 12.9 MB).