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NBCU to allow online providers to distribute its content

NBCUniversal is negotiating with several Internet video providers to license its full programming lineup for Internet viewing, the network’s owner, Comcast, said in a report to the FCC.

“NBCUniversal received and is negotiating several ’full freight’ requests” to provide its complete program line-up to the Internet, Comcast said in its second annual compliance report required by the commission in conjunction with the 2011 approval of the Comcast-NBCU merger.

A provision in the Comcast-NBCU merger requires the media company to offer its programming to “legitimate OVDs (online video distributors) on the same terms and conditions that would be available to an MVPD (multichannel video programming distributors).” A “minority” of online video distributors, Comcast said, have sought a “full freight” or “MVPD price” offer.

It has been reported that Intel is one of the companies negotiating with NBCU. Intel plans to launch an Internet pay TV service in 2013 and said previously it has approached major network providers for content. In the report, Comcast said that content-licensing agreements with online video distributors has become a standard part of the network’s business.

NBCU, Comcast noted, has entered into new agreements with Internet video distributors, including, Barnes & Noble, Flixster, Google, MediaNavi, Target, Toys ‘R’ Us and in the past year. It also renewed existing agreements with Apple, Blockbuster, Hulu, InDemand, Microsoft, Samsung, Sony and Vudu.

In the report, Comcast said it has over-delivered on its commitments. One of those commitments was the early buy out of General Electric’s share in NBCU for $16.7 billion. It had five years to complete the purchase.

Outside of the FCC report, Comcast declined to provide additional details on the on-going negotiations.