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AOL, PBS Forge Online, On-air Alliance

America Online, which Monday announced a merger with Time Warner, also forged a cross-promotion and content-sharing alliance with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

The three-year deal is meant to give each company an opportunity to expand its brand across a wider audience.

The deal calls for PBS to provide content to several AOL brands, which will include creating new content exclusively for the AOL Kids Only Channel. The new feature, called "Kratt's Creature Adventure," will be created by Chris and Martin Kratt of the program ZOBOOMAFOO.

The television network will also give AOL on-air branding on many of PBS' best-known programs. The network of 346 stations reaches 99 percent of American homes.

PBS will receive integrated promotion across the AOL brands, and will be assigned AOL Keywords, a short-cut way for AOL members to access the PBS online content. The AOL Keywords will be cited at the end of many of PBS' top programs and in much of PBS' print advertising.

"This opportunity significantly builds the ubiquity of the AOL brand and enables us to showcase an enhanced and interactive TV viewing experience to more consumers," says Marshall Cohen, AOL's senior vice president of brand development.