Notes From News Corp./NBC Universal Media Call

I’ve just joined the “NewTube” media call with NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker and News Corp. COO Peter Chernin. Notes to follow.

Chernin is kicking things off. It took him about 2 minutes to say “Web 2.0” for the first time. Saying this will be the largest premium video network on the web. Extending offer to other distribution partners, wants to work with everyone.

Zucker is now on. Talking about importance of “significant IP protection” as a primary goal. Second – this provides an excellent opportunity for advertisers, who want to be associated with premium video. Five charter advertisers already yesterday (Cadbury Schweppes, Cisco, Esurance, Intel and General Motors). Two more today (Royal Carribean is one).

Revenue will be split between News Corp and NBC, with a portion going to distribution partner.

Going immediately to questions.

well, I just got cut off from the call.

Back on, but I missed about 5 minutes.

Washington Post: Are you talking to YouTube to partner? Is this a YouTube Killer?
– Chernin: This is obviously not a YouTube Killer. There’s no stand alone site. Seriously IP protection
– Zucker: we want ubiquitous distribution. saying this is the right product for this stage of the development of the internet
– Chernin: this will be the largest advertising platform on earth.

AP: Will there be a delay between TV broadcast and online? Also asking about economics of partnership.
– Chernin: delay window will be several hours after shows air in Hawaii.
– Zucker: “we’re obviously not going to talk about economics”

Will this be the exclusive online channel for content?
– Zucker: says yes, this is the only place they’ll put their content online, and says this isn’t exclusive since they will partner with anyone.

Financial Times: Any plans to focus outside of U.S.? Do you think that this will hurt broadcast revenue?
– U.S. is focus for now. They believe this will not cannibalize broadcast revenues.

MSNBC: Says “Hi Boss” to Zucker. Asking about legal stance towards YouTube.
– Saying they continue to talk with YouTube to remove pirated content. They say this new company gives people an alternative to watching pirated content.

???: asking about the history of the partnership
– we’ve been in discussions for a long time, there have been ups and downs throughout, but News Corp and NBC remain committed throughout the process. This came together in the last week when distribution partners jumped on board.
– this is a very complex deal. There has been “unwaivering commitment” by NBC and News Corp.

WSJ: will other networks be able to come in as equity partners? mobile strategy?
– “we haven’t given it a lot of though. we are comfortable with the current arrangement but would consider other things.
– saying this is a web distribution venture, not mobile. (??)
Is American Idol going to be included?
– Chernin: no plans to include it right now.

TV Guide: Asking about pay per view movies. What will be for sale v. free?
– most movies will be available for sale. Some deep content will be free.
– Some TV content will not be free either. If on iTunes for pay, will also be for sale there. Pricing will be like MovieLink, iTunes, etc.
What will be free then?
– “most will be for free”. They were really hazy on answers here.

Marketwatch: will it take user generated content?
– yes.

[note: there are some serious red flags popping up around this service]

InternetNews: what kinds of advertising?
– “we will try to maximize the effectiveness of our ads”
– we will experiment. want to maximize our monetization. want to provide users with a great experience.
– Zucker: we are shocked at the willingness of the consumer to sit through the whole show with ads on”

New York Post: YouTube has issues policing their own site. How will they control this?
– distribution partners have promised to protect content.

CNNMoney: Will this be fully open to user generated content? On movie side, are they looking to have movies done as downloads, streams, or what format?
– there will be user generated material, but focus is on premium content, and that’s the value proposition
– with films, looking to download to own model

[end call]