NBC's Zucker: Digital TV Dollars Improved, But Still A Tiny Base

 If dollars-and-sense logic occupies the TV industry these days, then it is a dimes-and-sense logic for those new video Internet venues. Good news: That would be a price bump.

That's according to Jeff Zucker, president/CEO of NBC Universal, who again defended NBC's current model of television -- one that currently relies more on the profits from cable networks than its traditional broadcast network. But also one where there are better prospects for digital video platforms.

Zucker, during a digital conference in New York, amended his famous quote about not wanting to exchange TV dollars for digital pennies. Now he says the Internet business is more like "digital dimes" at work.

Some analysts may worry about -- the TV network programming Web area owned by News Corp. and NBC Universal - concerned it is too exclusive when it comes to syndicating content, thus limiting its growth.



Others point to glaring financial equations that make Hulu look like it's the future - especially in ringing up $70 million in annual advertising sales, according to estimates, well on its way to catching up to the likes of YouTube, which pulls in $100 million in ad sales, according to reports.

The key piece of this formula: Hulu does all this with only pulling in just 1% of the unique users that YouTube grabs.

Now back to Zucker's original view of the world: Hulu's $70 million pales in comparison to NBC Universal's overall $17 billion in annual revenue -- a mere 0.4%. Of course, there is more to consider -- revenues from new video on demand areas, yet-to-be launched advertising-free models, and, now, an old-favorite digital growth platform - at least for NBC TV stations - the mobile business.

Maybe the next time Zucker speaks, NBC will be trading TV dollars for digital quarters.

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