REDMOND, Wash., and NEW YORK — Oct. 18, 2007 — MSN and NBC Universal Digital Studios today announced the launch of a new online series, “The Celebrity Pet Dish” (http://originals.msn.com/CelebrityPetDish), following the success of “A Big Life With Sissy Biggers” (http://abiglife.msn.com), which is also produced by NBCU Digital Studios and is soon to debut its third season on MSN. Beginning Oct. 18, the MSN® Video audience will have exclusive access to “The Celebrity Pet Dish,” a weekly destination for owners of pampered pets, hosted by pet author and expert Nikki Moustaki. The show will be sponsored by Eukanuba.
“We’re excited to bring ‘The Celebrity Pet Dish’ to the large MSN audience of video consumers,” said Matthew Evans, vice president, Digital Media, and head of NBC Universal Digital Studios. “Celebrities are pet lovers like the rest of us, just on a slightly different scale. From pet psychics to rhinestone-studded carrying bags, this show reveals the glamorous lifestyle of celebrity pets. Many pet owners love their pets and celebrity news almost equally, and ‘The Celebrity Pet Dish’ is where those worlds meet.”
The three debut episodes will cover luxury pet vacations, personalized pet gifts, pet etiquette courses, Halloween costumes, pet-inspired wines and beer and favorite pet Web sites. In addition, Nikki will post a weekly blog, and users will be encouraged to send in their own celeb pet sightings, photos and cutting-edge pet trends.
Nikki Moustaki, MA, MFA, is a dog trainer and animal expert in New York City, where she lives with her two Schnauzers and four parrots. She is the author of nine books on dog care and training, including the latest, “Pocket Pups” (Kennel Club Books, 2007), and also writes extensively on avian care, training and behavior, with books such as “Parrots for Dummies” and “Your Outta Control Bird.” She also currently writes for Dog Fancy Magazine, Popular Dogs, Pet Style News, Pet Product News and Bird Talk, among others. She has also written for Jane, Latina, Zagat’s and The Village Voice. Nikki has appeared and been featured on national television and radio shows, including the BBC and “The Tony Danza Show.”
“In collaboration with NBCU, we’ve developed some great content,” said Rob Bennett, general manager of entertainment, video and sports at MSN. “We’ve seen a positive response from MSN Video users to ‘A Big Life’ and are happy to be rolling out the third season in addition to launching ‘Celebrity Pet Dish.’ Our MSN Originals platform continues to grow, and we continue to be committed to bringing our more than 465 million monthly MSN users the best content out there.”
Last year, “A Big Life With Sissy Biggers” was the first series from NBC Universal Digital Studios offered to MSN Video users. “A Big Life” is a weekly online destination for busy moms to find easy, fun ideas to create lasting memories and new traditions for everyday events and big celebrations. Who better to guide us on this pursuit of “A Big Life” than Sissy Biggers, a working woman, wife and busy mom herself. Her own home serves as a gathering spot for her teenage daughters, friends, a large extended family and the community she serves. With this flurry of activity in Sissy’s Big Life, she is never at a loss for inspiration or solutions. Last season, the show covered “green” living, preparing for a family road trip, and the latest and greatest in kitchen gadgets. The first episode of the new season, to come in 2008, will focus on using common household items in new ways.
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 free programmed video services on the Web, watched by more than 12 million unique users per month. In addition to streaming news, entertainment and sports video clips from more than 50 content partners including “The Today Show,” FOX Sports, MSNBC, Reveille, Control Room, CBS, News Corp. 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, France (English and French), Japan, the Netherlands and the U.K., and in Spanish in the U.S. MSN Video is in beta in Germany, Spain and Italy.
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. Most recently, MSN partnered with Control Room to stream Live Earth, the largest online entertainment event in history with over 62 million streams worldwide.
About NBC Universal Digital Studios
NBC Universal Digital Studios 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 “ON Dating” (www.ondating.tv), a new Internet dating advice program produced for ON Networks, and “I Love This Movie!,” a weekly series for Netflix.com subscribers that highlights a classic film in each webisode, introducing new audiences to some of the best of Hollywood’s past.
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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