Yesterday, MSNBC.com, the central news website for the NBC News family, became NBCNews.com, marking the end of the US broadcaster’s partnership with Microsoft.
Microsoft and NBC first teamed up back in the Nineties, a pioneering collaboration that produced a popular website as well as a new channel, MSNBC. Over the years, MSNBC has become more politically progressive in its programming, and the difference between the channel and the website going by the same name has caused some confusion.
Microsoft dropped its stake in the cable channel in 2005, and now Comcast, NBC’s parent company, is acquiring Microsoft’s share in the website. Microsoft will receive about US$300m for its 50pc stake, The New York Times reports.
MSNBC.com will be reinvented
For now, the MSNBC.com URL will redirect users to NBCNews.com, but early next year the address will become the official website of the MSNBC cable channel.
For now, political programming from MSNBC will appear on NBCNews.com, moving to MSNBC.com when it is reinstated as the channel’s dedicated website.
Apart from a new logo, the NBCNews.com site is very much the same, but more changes are expected down the pipeline.
Benefits for both parties
The break-up of this partnership will give NBC greater control over its digital properties, particularly in allowing advertisers to purchase cross-media advertising for both TV and online.
NBC also plans to improve the digital distribution of its programmes and make more apps and websites optimised for mobile devices.
The move will also benefit Microsoft, who will no longer be prevented from doing deals with other news providers on MSN.com.