The agreement includes an integrated, cross-promotional advertising relationship -- YouTube will hype NBC's videos throughout the site, while the broadcaster will send viewers to YouTube via "significant" on-air promotions.
Long-form promo content
In addition, over the next year, NBC will upload several video presentations and long-form promos every week to the NBC Channel on YouTube from prime-time and late-night programs such as "Saturday Night Live," "The Office" and "The Tonight Show."
Since launching its video search-and-sharing features in December, the Sequoia Capital-backed YouTube has emerged as one of the top video destinations online. People now watch more than 70 million videos per day on the site, which -- according to Hitwise -- made up 43% of all video search sites during the week ended May 20. By comparison, Yahoo Video Search captured 9.6%, while Google Video search snared 6.5% during that time.
In February, NBC lawyers ordered YouTube to take down video of a "Saturday Night Live" sketch called "Lazy Sunday," which was circulating wildly on the site. In March, NBC began efforts to establish NBC.com as consumers' source for the network's content, offering "Lazy Sunday" and other video for streaming.
NBC's marketing chief
While still wary of copyright issues, YouTube's newfound prominence isn't lost on John Miller, chief marketing officer, NBC Universal Television Group. "YouTube is the perfect online media partner to promote NBC's marquee entertainment to their audience and explore new and creative ways to harness the power of viral video in a manner that respects copyrights," Mr. Miller said.
To get YouTube's community involved in the partnership, NBC is asking people to submit 20-second promotional videos for "The Office" through July 21. NBC will publicize the campaign on air regularly during the first three weeks of the contest, with winning submissions appearing on TV and online.