Microsoft unveils $200m TV news plan
Microsoft, founded by the billionaire entrepreneur Bill Gates, is to invest $220m (pounds 140m) over five years for a half-share in the cable unit, to be called MSNBC Cable. Expected to begin operations within six months, the venture will represent the first serious challenge to Ted Turner's CNN.
The two companies will meanwhile have equal shares also in MSNBC Online, which will package the news for distribution on the Internet. The Online service will provide both text and graphics, incorporating video from NBC, and will be fully interactive.
The companies said that they expected to invest an additional $200m between them, also over five years, for the development of the two services. MSNBC Cable will be managed by NBC solely, while MSNBC Online will be jointly managed, with NBC retaining exclusive responsibility for news content.
"Both of the companies are saying we believe in the world of interactivity but we're bringing this world into broadcast," Mr Gates said. "We'll be working with NBC to create an integrated media experience". The move is intended to steal a march on ABC, shortly to become a unit of Disney, which earlier this month announced plans for a 24-hour news channel starting in 1997. Rupert Murdoch also vowed recently to embark on a non-stop news channel.
Andrew Lack, NBC's head of news programming, said the deal represented, "a giant leap for electronic journalism into the next century". The online service will be boosted by the introduction of modem technology next year allowing full video to be shown on personal computers on the Internet.
Users of the service will be able to tailor exactly which stories in the day's news they wish to view and, equally, to highlight specific elements in a single story that may interest them.
In Europe the MSNBC Cable service will be delivered to viewers by NBC's existing cable and satellite operation, SuperChannel/CNBC.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
iJobs Money & Business
$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer Office...
$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...
Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...