NBBC Merges Into Video Venture

NEW YORK The National Broadband Company, NBC Universal’s Web syndication service better known as NBBC, will merge into the unnamed NBCU/News Corp. joint online video venture. That service is set to launch later this year and compete against Google’s YouTube.

NBBC’s content partners and employees, though, will have to negotiate new contracts with the unnamed broadband project, referred to as NewSite.

News of the shutdown became public this week when an internal memo leaked to Multichannel News’ Web site and TV blog LostRemote.com.

“As part of our contribution, NBBC must sever all on-going business relationships in preparation for the merger,” read the memo. “Therefore, this note serves as your 30-day notice of service termination with NBBC. NewSite is an independent operating entity and may reach out to you to explore potential business partnerships.”

NBBC launched last September and has about 150 content partners including NBCU and its broadcast affiliate group, A&E Television Networks, the Washington Post‘s Web site, CNet Networks, the Vibe Media Group and Newsweek.com. The service had several big-name advertisers, as well, including JP Morgan Chase, Procter & Gamble, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts and Toyota Motor Sales.

The company also had more than 40 full-time employees.

NBBC suffered a setback in January when Michael Steib, gm, strategic ventures for NBCU and one of the founders of the service, left his post to head an ad sales unit at Google.

In March, when NewSite was formed, it was announced that NBBC would provide the technology for the project, which will present NBC, News Corp. and other premium content. It will have a standalone video site along with partnerships to present clips with Time Warner’s AOL, Microsoft, News Corp.’s MySpace, Yahoo and others.

Last week former Amazon.com executive Jason Kilar was named CEO of the new venture, replacing George Kliavkoff, the interim head of the project and chief digital officer at NBCU.