[11/07/05 - 12:00 AM]
NBC Universal and DirecTV Announce First Ever on Demand Deal for Primetime Network Programming

[via press release from NBC Universal Television Studio]


Top NBC Universal Content On Demand for $0.99

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. and EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- November 7, 2005 -- NBC Universal (NBCU) and DIRECTV, Inc., today announced a first of its kind agreement that will give consumers access to the top programs of NBC and its cable entertainment networks, USA, SCI FI and Bravo, within hours after they air, commercial free, for just 99 cents. The programs will be available on demand through the new DIRECTV Plus interactive DVR.

This multi-year agreement will give the primetime on demand rights to NBC Universal TV programs, such as "Law & Order: SVU," "Law & Order: CI," "The Office," "Monk," "Surface" and "Battlestar Galactica." The programs will be available until the following week's episode airs. NBC Universal's movies and TV events will also be available through DIRECTV Plus, and on pay-per-view (PPV).

"The way people are consuming content is changing," said David Zaslav, President, NBC Universal Cable. "Through this agreement with DIRECTV, consumers will be able to watch top NBC content on demand for just $0.99, when they want, without commercials. It's a huge sea change. This deal is the first of its kind and we value DIRECTV's partnership in rolling it out."

"We are thrilled to be able to make some of the best and most watched programs in all of television, both network and cable, even more readily available to viewers," said Jeff Zucker, President, NBC Universal Television Group. "We are extremely aware that viewers can't always watch these programs when they're originally scheduled, and this will give them far more control over when they're able to see these shows."

"DIRECTV and NBC are the first to offer viewers primetime programming on demand, and this agreement furthers DIRECTV's position as a technology and programming leader supporting our commitment to deliver the best television experience available anywhere," said Chase Carey, president and CEO, DIRECTV, Inc. "DVRs have fundamentally changed the way people watch television, giving viewers greater choice, control and convenience. We will take the DVR experience to new levels by offering the widest array of network primetime programming available on demand."

The DIRECTV Plus DVR will be available at retailers such as Best Buy and Circuit City this month. DIRECTV Plus will be the most advanced DVR available with features such as 100 hours of recording capacity, interactive functionality, one-touch recording and Viewmarks, which enable viewers to mark favorite places in recorded programs and jump directly to them.

The NBC TV programs that are available are some of the highest rated shows on television. "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" opened its seventh season on NBC with its highest season-premiere numbers ever. This season, "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" is building on its "West Wing" lead-in by 52 percent in adults 18-49. "Surface" is averaging a 3.9 rating, 9 share in adults 18-49 and 8.0 million viewers this season to keep it a solid #2 in 18-49 in the competitive Monday 8-9 p.m. ET hour. "Battlestar Galactica" leads SCI FI Channel's high-powered Friday lineup, which consistently wins the night among all cable networks when the SCI FI schedule is in first-run. "Monk" was cable's #1 Friday series last summer and its July 8 season premiere was the #2 basic-cable original-series telecast of the entire third quarter. In its second season, "The Office" continues to deliver some of the most upscale audiences for any comedy on network television.

About NBC Universal
NBC Universal is one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80%-owned by General Electric, with 20% controlled by Vivendi Universal.

About DIRECTV, Inc.
DIRECTV, Inc. is the nation's leading digital multichannel television service with more than 15 million customers. DIRECTV and the Cyclone Design logo are registered trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc. DIRECTV (NYSE: DTV) is a world-leading provider of digital multichannel television entertainment services. DIRECTV is approximately 34 percent owned by News Corporation.

  [november 2005]  


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