BlogHer, the three-year-old women's blog network, said Wednesday that it signed a strategic deal with iVillage, the much larger Web conglomerate for women owned by NBC Universal.
As part of the deal, NBC Universal's investment arm, Peacock Equity (a joint venture with General Electric), invested $5 million in BlogHer in a Series B round of financing. BlogHer's previous investor, Venrock, also participated in the round.
The iVillage deal is a coup for BlogHer because it will give the company the chance to promote content from its network's 2,200 blogs across a range of NBC Web sites, including Oxygen.com and BravoTV.com. Fashion blogs in the BlogHer network, for example, may be featured on BravoTV.com's section for the show Project Runway. As part of the deal, iVillage's advertising sales team will also help sell ad inventory for BlogHer, giving the blog network more heft in the media industry.
The joint ad sales effort will be part of a new initiative from NBC Universal, called Women@NBCU, designed to focus on marketing to women and synthesizing its ad team under that lens. NBC said it created a female-targeted digital ad sales network, which will sell ads for BravoTV.com, Oxygen.com, iVillage, and Sugar.