NBC, Intel Team For Hi-Res Online Shows


NBC Universal is expanding on its previous collaboration with chip maker Intel in distributing programming through the Internet to PCs and laptops with the launch of NBC "VIP Access." "Access" is an online service that will provide NBC primetime programming on-demand for free, at a higher resolution than NBC's other broadband offerings, to consumers with Intel Viiv technology-based PCs and Centrino mobile technology-based laptops.

NBC "VIP Access," which starts this week, will offer download-to-view access to 20 different NBC Universal broadcast and online programs, including full episodes of the fall season of Heroes and Studio 60on the Sunset Strip.The new service will also showcase the season premieres of Friday Night Lights, 30 Rock and SCI FI's Ghost Hunters and first scenes from Law & Order: Criminal Intent and SCI FI's Battlestar Galactica. Special extras include The NBC News Special: Bono in Africa, a Battlestar Galactica special and Ghost Hunters: Best of Season One. Consumers can also enjoy Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List and Work Out webisodes courtesy of BravoTV.com as well as additional programming from NBCSports.com.

Primetime shows such as Studio 60 will be provided in pre-roll format, without commercial breaks, as is the practice with NBC's "First Look" service, says an NBC spokesperson.

Intel has been promoting its Viiv technology as a way to connect the PC to the TV and make the PC an integral part of their home entertainment experience, and has struck partnerships with other content providers including AOL. Its Centrino technology is aimed at making wireless broadband access simple for laptop users.

NBCU and Intel first collaborated on broadband programming last winter with a jointly developed site on NBCOlympics.com entitled "Your NBCOlympics.com Moments," which allowed consumers with Viiv-equipped or Centrino-powered laptops to watch NBC Universal's Olympic highlights and content in high-resolution format through an special interface.

"Great content coupled with a great experience is a key differentiator on the Web," said Beth Comstock, President, NBC Universal Digital Media and Market Development, in a statement. "NBC's VIP Access showcases some of the best content that we have and we are proud to be working with Intel to deliver the best high-resolution online video experience available to consumers."