The agreement will by carried out via the two companies’ online subsidiaries, i7 and
NBCi was floated last year on the NASDAQ exchange, leaving NBC with a 47
per cent stake. NBCi will take a stake in i7 as part of the deal in the
event that Seven floats its subsidiary as well, although the amount and
other financial details were not disclosed.
Although Seven does buy NBC TV programming, it is by no means an exclusive arrangement, as the top-ranked Nine
Network shows some of NBC’s top-rated shows.
The deal adds complexity to an already murky network of alliances. Nine’s
owner, Australian-based Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd, has a similar
relationship with Microsoft through their collaboration on the ninemsn site. However, Microsoft also
has an existing alliance with NBC to produce the MSNBC cable TV channel and Web site.