NBC Universal signs up a Promotional Deal with YouTube

NBC Universal and YouTube logo American radio and television broadcasting company NBC Universal, has entered into a promotional agreement with YouTube, which is undoubtedly the most popular video sharing site. NBC has offered the site, promotional clips of “Saturday Night Live” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and to promote YouTube on some of its TV shows.

John Miller, chief marketing officer of NBC Universal Television Group acknowledged the reducing difference between television and online videos and said that they would join the bandwagon rather than shy away from the internet at this point.

The NBC is likely to make clips from new and old shows, behind-the-scenes footage, and other items available exclusively on YouTube. The video sharing site which sees 13 million visitors every month, is yet another site to have sealed such a deal with an entertainment conglomerate.

Additionally, NBC will start a contest for its hit comedy “The Office” (which is aired on Thursdays, 9:30-10 p.m. ET) where people can submit their own creative 20-second promotional videos to NBC’s YouTube Group (www.youtube.com/theoffice). NBC will broadcast the campaign on air regularly during the first three weeks of the contest, encouraging YouTube users to enter. User-generated videos must be compelling and entertaining and create interest for potential viewers to watch “The Office.” Examples can be seen in the NBC YouTube Group.

The contest runs June 26 through July 21. The winning video will air within the network broadcast of “The Office” during the month of August. NBC will also offer a “how-to” video featuring writer-producer Bill Lowery, who normally writes and produces all the network’s promos for “The Office.”

“The YouTube and NBC partnership symbolises what can happen when traditional media companies and new media companies find common ground,” said Miller.

The deal will see a lot of mutual goodwill; just months after NBC had demanded that YouTube. to remove a clip from “Saturday Night Live” called “Lazy Sunday,” which had become wildly popular on the site. The ensuing controversy, however, thrust YouTube onto a national stage and provided a huge marketing boost.

YouTube promptly removed the clip. The partnership with NBC sends a signal to Hollywood that YouTube is a safe technology and that it makes more sense to team with the company, says Jupiter Research analyst Todd Chanko.

“What NBC is doing is acknowledging the power of YouTube as a marketing vehicle,” Chanko said. “At the same time, NBC has a vested interest in controlling the marketing message on YouTube.”