NBCUniversal has scaled up its digital distribution effort. The Comcast-owned media company has announced a video initiative through which at least a dozen series will be released digitally through NBC’s online platforms, Hulu (of which NBCU owns 32%), and video-on-demand services.
The digital video push includes several TV companions, including a digital prequel to Heroes Reborn announced during the Olympics. That series will be one of the first four series released as part of the initiative, as will a series called Saturday Night Line that will feature diehard SNL fans who wait in line to see the long-running sketch show.
The new slate won’t just be limited to companions. At least two original programs have been announced: Last Single Girl, which will follow a woman who must cope when all of her friends get married, and Tesla and Twain, which transports the real-life friendship of Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla into modern day Los Angeles. Adweek has shared the trailer for the latter of those two series, which also features a villainous, time-traveling Thomas Edison:
The timing of NBCUniversal’s announcement–two weeks before Digital Content Newfronts–is no accident. Advertisers are looking to splash some money on digital series alongside their traditional media budgets, and NBCU can now offer some relevant content to pair with its TV offerings. It has also pledged to provide promotional support for its digital series on its more traditional platforms. It’s potentially a very compelling option for the ad buyers who are about to pledge their campaigns to digital media companies.