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NBCi teams with Zagat.com in content deal

In a continuing effort to bolster its content and services, the TV network's Internet arm forms a partnership with the travel information source.

    NBC Internet today said it has formed a partnership with travel information source Zagat.com in a continuing effort to bolster its content and services.

    Under the agreement, Zagat.com's content, which includes restaurant reviews, will be featured in NBCi's newly created "Restaurant Center." The section falls into its so-called Interactive Neighborhood, a local Internet content service that NBCi offers to NBC-owned and affiliated TV stations.

    Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Interactive Neighborhood is available on its Snap.com Web directory but will be moved into the NBCi.com portal slated for relaunch this fall, the companies said.

    NBCi, which is partly owned by General Electric's NBC unit, last week said it plans to phase out the Snap.com and Xoom.com names and combine them and others under the NBCi brand in a new search directory later this year. NBCi said it is aiming to offer people a personalized directory. CNET Networks, publisher of News.com, owns a stake in NBCi.

    The company, which was formed when NBC merged its Internet properties with Xoom.com and Snap.com, recently warned of a wider second-quarter loss because of sagging advertisement sales and acquisition costs. The San Francisco-based company said it doesn't expect to turn a profit until 2002.

    Today's agreement is the first content deal following news of the NBCi.com relaunch. For privately held Zagat.com, the agreement marks its first major deal with a Web portal.

    Through the partnership, NBCi members will be able to purchase parent company Zagat Survey's books, including guides to restaurants in 45 cities worldwide; to hotels, resorts and spas in the United States; to food and entertaining in New York City and Los Angeles; and to New York City nightlife.

    In February, Zagat Survey scored $31 million in a round of equity financing led by General Atlantic Partners. Microsoft's founding chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold, MIT Media Laboratory director Nicholas Negroponte and investment banker Nancy Peretsman, who focuses on media, have also taken stakes in the venture.