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NBCUniversal, Broadway Video Will Partner to Make Comedy Content for Advertisers

Variety logo Variety 4/27/2017 Brian Steinberg
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Broadway Video is best known for its many famous productions: “Saturday Night Live,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Late Night With Seth Meyers” and “Portlandia,” among others. Soon, the production house may gain a reputation for helping NBC’s advertisers as well.

Under a new partnership with NBCUniversal’s in-house NBCU Content Studio, Broadway Video will make available a team of its writers, directors and producers to certain NBCUniversal advertisers. Advertisers will be able to create original comedy content that can run on NBCU properties, but also on  sites owned and operated by the individual marketers.

“There is a lot of exciting stuff on the horizon,” noted Wendy Wildfeuer, senior vice president of the NBCU Content Studio, , The NBCU Content Studio, a unit established last year that helps advertisers align with creative talent at the media company to devise promotional content. She said she expected Broadway Video to help advertisers craft short-form comedy video that could be distributed across social media, among other venues.

Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep has struck an agreement to work with the new partnership to help launch the new Jeep Compass. The first work is expected to debut sometime before the end of May.

Broadway Video has long been known as producer Lorne Michael’s production vehicle. Some of the unit’s operations already do some work with advertisers. The company’s Above Average comedy video hub regularly does work for various sponsors. The deals are not expected to make use of content from established Broadway programs like “SNL,” said Wildfeuer, but rather utilize new creative concepts.

NBCUniversal unveils the opportunity as the company, like its many TV rivals, is preparing to unveil a broad slate of new programming to Madison Avenue as part of the industry’s annual “upfront” market, when TV networks try to sell the bulk of their commercial time for the coming TV season. NBCUniversal tries to sell approximately $6 billion worth of ad inventory across its portfolio.

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