NBC Universal unveils new division to boost digital media

MUMBAI: NBC Universal has formed a new business unit, the Technology Growth Center (TGC), within the media giant to focus on new business opportunities in digital media. NBC Universal has tapped Darren Feher, the company's chief technology officer, to run the group.

Feher will be reporting to NBC Universal's technology and operations division president and chief information officer of Media Works John Eck.

"Today, consumers want to enjoy media any time and any where," Eck said. "The TGC will help fulfill this demand by providing the necessary technology to foster a greater variety of distribution methods."
The new division will coordinate NBCU's approach to technology across the company's various distribution channels.

TGC is organized into four divisions: Technical Product Development, developing technology in the areas of broadband, iTV, electronic-sell-through, mobile and wireless, DVRs and gaming; Policy, Strategy and Standards, focusing on increasing the influence of NBC Universal's industry positions among standards consortia and in Washington; Emerging Technology and Research, working with GE's Global Research Center and universities; and Anti-Piracy Technical Operations, with an emphasis on forensic watermarking, cracking down on Internet piracy, and raids and investigations, stated a media report.

The division has already developed the technology that allowed NBC Universal to digitally send its TV content to Apple for distribution on iTunes, eliminating the need for digital beta tapes. Other TGC projects underway include DVD point-of sale activation, forensic watermarking, new peer based distribution technologies, download-to-own technology, DRM standards and automatic closed captioning.

The TGC has also launched several interactive television projects, including a service that enabled DirecTV, EchoStar and Time Warner Cable subscribers to access medal counts, athlete biographies and news during broadcasts of the Winter Olympics in February. More recently, the TGC has facilitated online voting in several NBC shows, including Deal or No Deal.

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