Viacom Juices Up Web Offerings

The company says its Nickelodeon and VH1 arms want to cash in on the rise of broadband.
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In keeping with its promise to exploit new media platforms,

Viacom

(VIA) - Get Report

has launched online services through two of its best-known brands.

Starting this month, both Nickelodeon and VH1 are launching broadband-based services that will put more TV content online.

Nickelodeon, Viacom's highly successful cable network for kids, has launched TurboNick, a broadband video platform available on Nick.com that will allow younger audiences access to full-length episodes of its TV shows.

The company says the launch of TurboNick is the latest offering that allows the network to capitalize on a multiplatform experience. Nickelodeon also offers video-on-demand on cable, ringtones and video clips via wireless.

The move makes Nickelodean the first kids' network to provide full-length programming via the Web. It is seen as a complement to Viacom's acquisition last month of popular online company Neopets, a younger-skewing online entertainment network.

The official launch will take place July 17.

"The TurboNick platform complements our on-air programming by giving kids and parents Nickelodeon video content any time they want it," said Mike Skagerlind, SVP and general manager of Nickelodeon Online.

TurboNick features 20 hours of new programming every week, allowing kids to watch clips or episodes. The network is rolling out two more broadband video initiatives: Nick Jr. Parents TV and Nick Jr. Video. Numerous advertisers in categories such as food, automotive and movies are signed up.

Meanwhile, Viacom's VH1 is launching its broadband entertainment network Vspot on Thursday. The company says Vspot is a hybrid network offering three distinct channels of music and pop culture programming for online users.

"VH1's newest platform has a life of its own, allowing viewers to deepen their connection with VH1 by accessing original and exclusive music and pop culture content in their own time and space. We want our upscale adult audience to take VH1 with them whenever and wherever they go," said Tom Calderone, VH1 general manager.

The launch will feature the premiere of the new season of

The Surreal Life 5

three days before it appears on the VH1 cable network. The online service will also feature a wide range of VH1's other shows and music video offerings.

Viacom announced in June that it would split into two separate companies later this year. On Wednesday, shares were trading up slightly to $32.73.