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Microsoft Businesses The Media

NBC Purchases MSNBC Rights From Microsoft 209

flatt writes "Ending a sixteen year partnership between the now Comcast-owned NBCUniversal and Microsoft, the website has been immediately renamed to Both parties note that the integration between both parties is deep and will require 2 years to complete the decoupling. For the immediate future, NBC will continue to provide news content for and Microsoft will continue to be the advertising provider for the site. Content control, brand confusion, and partisan content are cited as reasons behind the breakup. Microsoft sold its 50% share in the MSNBC TV rights to NBC back in 2005."
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NBC Purchases MSNBC Rights From Microsoft

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  • by rsmith-mac ( 639075 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @05:48AM (#40661279)

    It's a bit confusing. There were two MSNBCs: MSNBC the cable channel, and MSNBC the website.

    Microsoft divested itself of MSNBC the cable channel in 2005, which is what TFS refers to. MSNBC the cable channel has been owned and operated solely by NBC since then.

    MSNBC the website is what today's news is about. Microsoft has sold off their 50% share of MSNBC the website to Comcast/NBC. As a result NBC now has full control over MSNBC the website - content, technology, and (most importantly) advertising.

    NBC now owns both MSNBCs. Ultimately in 2013 there will be a single TV/web MSNBC entity just like CNN and FoxNews today. Meanwhile the current MSNBC the website will become NBC's news website.

  • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @07:08AM (#40661487) Homepage Journal

    The last Olympics was 'delayed' and only viewable on your TV set during evening prime-time viewing, and NOT on-the-net (with any legality). Now, all is going to be available online, so everyone can chat with their facebook friends.

    Looked at from another angle, it's being locked down. Facebook isn't "everyone".

    And it's still delayed.

  • Re:Partisan content? (Score:3, Informative)

    by MachineShedFred ( 621896 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @07:17AM (#40661519) Journal

    Or it could be that they thought that a "proper" news organization like MSNBC shouldn't be so buddy buddy with the left, that they even report on their own website [] how skewed they are: identified 143 journalists who made political contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign, according to the public records of the Federal Election Commission. Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 16 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.

    Never mind that their prime time news personality (Chris Matthews) used to be Chief of Staff for the Democratic Speaker of the House during the Reagan years - yep, that engenders political objectivity...

  • by Troyusrex ( 2446430 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @07:32AM (#40661571)
    I think that PBS is every bit as biased as Fox and MSNBC. IMO, it's biased towards "highbrow" which is to appeal to left leaning upper middle class people. It focuses much more on culture that the masses don't care about (such as opera). It's pro-environmental but in a concerned instead of alarmist way. Oddly, it's pro investing but mildly anti-business (perhaps it'd be more accurate to say it's pro business but also pro heavy regulation of business). It's very pro-welfare state.

    My brother, who is a much more avid watcher/listener than I am, calls it "Marxist, feminist radio/TV" and while there's a lot of hyperbole there's a small bit of truth as well.

  • Re:Partisan content? (Score:5, Informative)

    by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @07:44AM (#40661619) Homepage

    MSNBC isn't objective, neither is CNBC, NBC aims to be objective.

    CNBC covers financial news from the perspective of a the small stock / mutual fund investor. You'll rarely hear news on CNBC from the perspective of professionals or control investors.
    MSNBC offers opinion journalism from the perspective of the left.
    NBC tries as best as possible to offer traditional journalism, i.e. news from the perspective of the Washington rulership.

  • by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @07:48AM (#40661637) Homepage

    Microsoft started MSNBC along with Slate and other such programming because they wanted a focus on internet delivery. They wanted to shift the American audience from consuming media on television to consuming media on computers. Which would lead to widespread broadband adoption and at least one and often multiple computers in every home. Seems to me their plan made quite a bit of sense.

  • by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @08:31AM (#40661827) Homepage Journal

    They are all already the worst channels ever.

    A U.S. citizen has to go to a foreign news source to get any facts about what is happening... and most won't bother as they have to keep up with the kardasians.

  • by glebovitz ( 202712 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:03AM (#40662011) Journal

    I'd like to take the replies one step further. In the mid 1990s Sun, Oracle, AOL, and others were claiming the death to the PC and all desktop computers would become internet devices. The web or network would become the computer and Microsoft would be irrelevant. In response, Gates realigned the company, refocused on the Internet and released Internet Explorer for free. I believe MSNBC partnership was a service side hedge against what Microsoft saw as a Web assault on their business. NBC, Time Warner, and other television a cable outlets also feared the Web. They was the potential for movie, programming, and music companies to reach consumers directly cutting the media giants out as distributors. I was in the Cable business in 1999 and 2000 and heard this directly from a Time Warner content manager. An NBC / Microsoft offering made sense.

    By 2004/2005 the partnership no longer made sense. Time Warner / AOL didn't take over the world and media was shifting to individuals through blogging and a trend towards media streaming. YouTube appeared on the scene in 2005/2006 along with Google Video. The trend towards individual contributions has continued to change the nature of news reporting.

    I think the biggest change was the movement of news channels from delivering news to providing news entertainment. IMHO Fox, MSNBC, and CNN are now entertainment assets. This goes beyond the original vision of MSNBC as an Internet news outlet.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:06AM (#40662035)

    Um, you can mention Fox News, but if you do you have to add CNN, CBS, ABC, and virtually every other news outlet to the side of pro-Liberal.

  • Re:Partisan content? (Score:2, Informative)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @12:52PM (#40664023) Journal
    Be careful, don't think that the BBC lacks bias, they all have some. BBC has different biases though, that aren't easily recognizable for an American. For an easily obvious example of BBC bias, go back and look at some of the reporting during the Falklands war.

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