UPDATE: Despite reports that it's officially acquiring social networking site Tribe.net, NBC Universal is just in window-shopping mode.
Despite reports to the contrary, a purchase of social networking site Tribe.net by NBC Universal is not a done deal. According to a source inside NBC Universal, the company is looking at Tribe's back-end technology for possible integration with its digital properties, which include iVillage, MSNBC.com, and Telemundo.com.
NBC Universal had no comment regarding the reports.
According to the source, NBC also is evaluating other social networking site technologies. The company has signed a letter of intent to conduct due diligence of Tribe's technology; however, the source stressed, "To say we're buying it, that's not true." As for the cost of acquiring Tribe.net as a whole or its technology only, the source said it would be "well under $5 million."
In a continuing effort to scoop up ad dollars that are moving away from television properties towards the Web, NBC is clearly evaluating ways of harnessing the traffic-driving popularity of social networking for its own sites. NBC.com and iVillage both already feature message boards and blogs.
A social networking integration could also prove interesting for NBC Universal's Spanish language site Telemundo.com, which merged with the Yahoo en Espanol site earlier this year.
In addition, Tribe.net's classifieds listings capabilities could be used to enhance NBC's local broadcast affiliate sites.
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
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