Microsoft and NBC today announced that they are ending a 15 year old partnership to run MSNBC digital network. The MSNBC.com will be now known as NBCNews.com and will be operated by NBC as a whole. Its been reported that NBC paid over $300 million for Microsoft on this deal. Also end of this deal will allow Microsoft to curate contents from other news sources for its MSN portal.
From MSN Blog,
Microsoft and NBC Discontinue Joint News Venture Msnbc
MSN and Bing to Deliver Innovative Real-Time News
Today we are announcing the divestiture of Microsoft’s 50 percent share in Msnbc.com to our partner in that joint venture NBC. Since we formed Msnbc.com it has become a leader in the online news industry – and we couldn’t be more proud of the terrific team that delivers news every day to the millions of readers on MSN. As part of this transaction, Msnbc will be fully owned and operated by NBC.
The agreement we reached with NBC releases Microsoft from its exclusivity with NBC, which will allow us to not only continue featuring content from NBC on MSN as we do today, but also provide Microsoft new flexibility to deliver fresh and innovative news products across Bing and MSN.
The pace, frequency and ways people are consuming news has changed dramatically over the past few years. People expect to see multiple perspectives and sources when they consume news, and they expect to receive news in real time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These changes couple with the explosion of social sharing presents a tremendous opportunity to add value to an increasingly noisy media landscape.
With today’s announcement, we will be able to provide a broader perspective on what’s happening in the world by offering more original and third-party content for the new Bing News app for Windows 8, a cornerstone application and entry point for search on our latest operating system.
In the fall, we will be delivering a new MSN news experience. It will be singularly focused on online consumers, harnessing real-time signals produced by social networks using the power of search to deliver breaking updates based on relevant topics. MSN will utilize advanced technologies to mine real-time information from the web to keep users constantly up to date and in the know on the latest breaking news and trends across the Internet. The result for MSN users will be more news sources, more perspectives, and more real-time time news. MSN will focus on creating a world-class news experience targeted to today’s online news consumers.
With MSN’s massive reach of more than 520 monthly unique visitors, and Bing’s product roadmap, we are as excited about what the future as we ever have been.
Bob Visse, General Manager, Microsoft Online Services Division