NBC News is busy digitizing millions of hours of footage for its newly created curriculum-based education initiative that gives K-12 teachers access to the NBC News vault.
The multimedia content, which is available to schools via subscription, includes sections on U.S. history and government, but also less traditional elementary and high school subjects, including women's studies and forensic science. The searchable digital archive is edited to be age-appropriate for students.
The initiative—through a partnership with HotChalk, an online resource for teachers—represents a $15 million outlay for NBC Universal, says Adam Jones, chief financial officer of NBC News. He expects it to take two to three years for the company to realize a return on that investment.
NBC News will also be competing with established education initiatives at Discovery Communications and A&E Television Networks' The History Channel. What distinguishes the NBC News initiative, Jones says, is that it's adapted to core curricula in all 50 states, so that it presents a streamlined resource for teachers.
The initiative also includes a partnership with the New York Film Academy, which will offer digital journalism training for students with hands-on training at Channel One, NBC's student journalism network.
NBC News also hopes to connect with a younger demo and turn them into loyal viewers—whether on television, the Web or mobile devices.
"It's not enough to just continue what you did yesterday," said Steve Capus, president of NBC News. "These are businesses that will become central to the core of NBC News.
"I think it would be a missed opportunity not to draw on those archives."