REDMOND, Wash., and NEW YORK — Nov. 7, 2006 — MSN and NBC Universal Digital Studios, a studio dedicated to creating original and unique programming for a wide range of digital platforms, have entered into an exclusive licensing agreement announced today by George Kliavkoff, chief digital officer of NBC Universal, and Rob Bennett, general manager of Entertainment and Video Services for MSN. Beginning this fall, the MSN® Video audience will have exclusive access to the new NBCU Digital Studios program “A Big Life With Sissy Biggers” hosted by lifestyle personality Sissy Biggers (http://originals.msn.com/abiglife). “A Big Life With Sissy Biggers” is a key component of the MSN Originals initiative because the show is highly interactive, unique to the Web and exclusive to MSN.
For years Biggers has been known for her humorous, upbeat approach to cooking, entertaining, gardening and living. On “A Big Life With Sissy Biggers” this former face of the Food Network’s “Ready, Set, Cook!” and PBS’ “Victory Garden” will create an interactive experience for users seeking unique and informative lifestyle information on a wide range of subjects — from creating a delicious cheese plate to polishing up table manners. “A Big Life With Sissy Biggers” will also give users the opportunity to share what’s going on in their lives; the webisodes’ site will feature Your Big Life, a forum for users to share their experiences, suggestions and photos online, and A Bigger View, a section offering additional information on each topic covered on the show. For an upcoming webisode, Biggers will cover last-minute homemade hostess gifts, and will invite her audience to post their own hostess-gift ideas to share with the “Big Life” community.
“MSN is a vibrant online destination and we’re proud that it’s the first portal to distribute content produced by NBC Universal Digital Studios,” Kliavkoff said. “With consumers’ and advertisers’ appetites for original broadband content increasing exponentially each day, ‘A Big Life with Sissy Biggers’ answers the need for innovative, fresh lifestyle programming on the Web. The show is a perfect example of the high-quality, current content that’s being conceived and produced by NBC Universal Digital Studios.”
“The Internet is rapidly emerging as the new forum for creating unique, engaging storytelling experiences, and MSN is dedicated to working with content creators and advertisers to explore the possibilities of original programming online,” Bennett said. “We are thrilled to work with the NBCU team to bring ‘A Big Life’ to our audience.”
Nintendo of America Inc. has signed on as an early advertiser of the webisodes, which will air over 13 weeks. During “A Big Life With Sissy Biggers” Nintendo of America will feature video ads for the launch of Wii, an innovative, new video game console.
About NBC Universal Digital Studios
NBC Universal Digital Studios, founded in Fall 2005, combine NBC Universal’s legacy of storytelling with technical innovation to create a wide range of content for digital media platforms. The Studios create engaging, video-based experiences, webisodes, viral videos and other video content for broadband and wireless devices. Recent programs include “JYA” (Junior Year Abroad), which airs on the NBC Owned and Operated Station websites and chronicles ten students studying abroad in different countries, including India, Argentina and the Dominican Republic. “About Face,” an online makeover program hosted by beauty expert Shalini Vadhera airs exclusively on iVillage.com’s Makeover Central. The Studios also produced the viral video hit “The Easter Bunny Hates You,” which, without marketing or promotion, has generated over 5 million streams and was recently nominated for a 2006 Viral Video of the Year award from TelevisionWeek magazine.
About MSN Originals: Storytelling for the Digital Age
MSN Originals combines video, interactive community features and rich editorial content to deliver unique entertainment experiences that will be deeply integrated throughout the MSN network, including MSN Lifestyle and MSN Video, as well as Windows Live™ Spaces. The first MSN Originals series, “Fan Club: Reality Baseball” (http://fanclub.msn.com), debuted July 11, 2006.
Utilizing Microsoft® technology, MSN Originals is focused on partnering with the best and brightest creative minds in the media industry to bring the new generation of storytelling online. Exclusive MSN Originals content is supported by advertising and made available free to MSN users. Advertising opportunities include display and streaming video, as well as sponsorship packages incorporating MSN media and in-content integration.
Information about MSN Originals can be found at http://originals.msn.com.
About MSN Video
MSN Video is one of the largest video-only streaming services on the Web, watched by more than 11 million unique users per month. In addition to streaming news, entertainment and sports video clips from more than 45 content partners including “The Today Show,” FOX Sports, MSNBC, JibJab Media Inc. and Fox Entertainment Group, MSN Video presents a broad array of live events to online audiences worldwide. More than 50 top advertisers support MSN Video, which is available to consumers at no charge. MSN Video is available on the Web at http://msnvideo.com to consumers in the U.S. MSN Video is also live in Australia, Canada, Japan and the U.K., and in Spanish in the U.S.; the service also is in beta testing in France.
Overall, MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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