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NBC Takes Stake In iVillage

NBC announced Monday it will take an equity stake in online women's network iVillage.

NBC will give iVillage on-air promotion and distribute its content on Snap.com, a joint online venture between NBC and CNET Inc. NBC's will promote iVillage.com and the new Snap/iVillage family, health and parenting resource centers on Snap.com. NBC will also get one position on iVillage's board of directors.

Officials said the partnership is a non-cash transaction, involving primarily promotional efforts.

"The currency we are using is promotional time," said Tom Rogers, president, NBC Cable. Rogers went on to say that NBC hopes to eventually increase its stake in iVillage to equal the stake held by America Online, currently iVillage's largest shareholder.

In addition, iVillage and Snap plan to rollout three new parenting, family and health hubs on Snap.com, as part of NBC's bid to target women.Content will be culled from iVillage's Better Health and Parent Soup communities and will be available through Snap.com's Health, Living and Kids & Family areas. Snap links and search functions will also be featured within iVillage's 12 community sections.

Candice Carpenter, iVillage co-founder and chief executive officer said the NBC promos are slated to run early on in the first quarter of 1999 and the Snap co-branded centers will launch by the end of this year. Carpenter said the promos will run primarily during primetime, with a smaller portion to run during daytime TV.

"Women are to NBC what kids are to Disney," said Rogers.

"Despite what began as a dominant male-skewed medium, women now represent the fastest growing demographic on the Internet. This partnership furthers our goal in making Snap the strongest Internet portal by allying with top Internet services and their audiences."

The iVillage deal is the second for the New York-based company in two weeks. On Nov. 18, iVillage and AT&T announced an alliance producing iVillage Online Powered by AT&T WorldNet Service, the first national Internet access service targeting women.

"Together, NBC and iVillage are changing the competitive landscape by reaching more women across a wider media spectrum," Carpenter said. "With the No. 1 television network in reaching women 25-49, NBC is an ideal partner for iVillage. We are very excited to work closely with NBC to build vibrant content and service offerings in the years to come."