In another sign of television's move onto the Web, NBC today announced a new service, NBC Interactive Neighborhood, to provide local content for the Web sites of its 215 stations and affiliates.
The service features entertainment, yellow page listings, search engines, and online shopping customized for local markets. It includes content from Microsoft's Sidewalk online regional publications, BigYellow, Realtor.com, an entertainment site called Happy Puppy and Hot Coupons, a online coupon network, among others. Infoseek is the search engine for the service.
"NBC Interactive Neighborhood is designed to marry the best content package of locally customized Internet services with the brand, resources, and promotional power of the local television stations, all tied together in a turnkey operation under a unified brand," said Marty Yukovitz, president of NBC Interactive, in a statement.
NBC's move follows a similar service launched in January by Warner Brothers Online called CityWeb, which provides local television stations with content for their Web sites.
CityWeb is drawing on Time Warner's giant resources in news, weather, sports, and entertainment, largely offered under the Pathfinder megasite.
Both moves show how the television industry is trying to tap the moneymaking potential of the Web, both in online commerce and advertising. Local classified ad sales generate more than $13 billion in annual revenue.
In addition, online services have been luring some viewers from TV, and the Web sites are a way for the stations to keep from losing out.