NBCU ramps up online video efforts with thePlatform

In a deal that reinforces the increasingly complex connections between the cable industry, its fully or partially owned programming services and the fledgling online video space, NBCUniversal, owned by top cable operator Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), has signed a multiyear agreement with video-management and publishing company thePlatform.

NBCU's top cable channels USA Network, Syfy and Oxygen will be the lead contributors of content being placed on thePlatform's cloud-based video management system with the aim of reaching viewers using PCs, tablets and other IP-connected devices.

A news release said thePlatform was "selected after a rigorous evaluation of online video platforms" but that may be a bit disingenuous since its video management system is already being used by Comcast, Cablevision (NYSE: CVC), Cox Communications, Liberty Global (Nasdaq: LBTYA), Rogers Communications (NYSE: RCI), Shaw Media and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC)--among many others within the cable space. Other NBC-connected properties on thePlatform include E!, NBC Local Media, NBC Sports Regional Networks, Sprout, Style and the Golf Channel.

"NBCU is committed to staying at the forefront of innovation and providing our customers the best entertainment options across any screen, both of which are enabled by thePlatform," Marc Siry, NBCU's senior vice president of digital products and services, said in a news release. "Given the independent needs of our programmers, thePlatform provides us with proven flexibility and enterprise-grade reliability that will benefit us across our organization."

thePlatform's purpose is to serve as a white label video management service for media companies, providing an open, central hub to manage, monetize and syndicate professionally produced video for media companies.

"Our video management system provides leading programmers across NBCU with the efficiency, scalability and versatility they require," Ian Blaine, co-founder and CEO of thePlatform, said in the release.

NBCU, perhaps more than some cable-based programming services, is vested in delivering content across multiple screens as part of the cable industry's TV Everywhere initiative. it recently launched a series of online and social initiatives at a digital upfront event and is planning a massive multi-screen effort for the upcoming Summer Olympics in London.

For more:
 - see the release

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