'Meet The Press' Meets The Web

The influential Sunday morning news show "Meet the Press" will join the lineup of TV programs available online for on-demand Web viewing, MSNBC.com said Thursday.

The show will post to the Web at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Podcasts of "Meet the Press," moderated by Tim Russert, have been available at MSNBC.com since July, and monthly downloads had ballooned to 90,000 as of November. In the past, MSNBC.com has had "Meet the Press" on its site, but it was broken up into small five-minute segments, each of which required independent user-initiation. With the new Webcasts, viewers will be able to see the entire show with one click of the play button.

At launch, the Webcast will display ads from marketers that have already purchased MSNBC news video inventory--including automobile manufacturers and consumer packaged goods marketers--said Kyoo Kim, vice president sales, MSNBC.com. The show will be split into several segments, and each will be separated by one ad, Kim said. The Webcast also will be accompanied by pre-roll.

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But, Kim said, that might soon change. "We are in the throes of trying to figure out, very quickly, what the right sales model is," he said.

For now, MSNBC.com is looking for a long-term sponsor for the Webcast. One possibility, Kim said, is that a marketer might arrange to sponsor the entire "Meet the Press" section of the Web site--which also includes a newsletter, podcasts, and links to a host of political articles.

He added that the ad model--for all of the news shows on MSNBC.com--still is a work in progress. The Webcast of "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams," for instance, no longer is broken up by ads. Two weeks ago, Pfizer began sponsoring the Webcasts, which now run ad-free, except for pre-roll.

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