MSN in Cross-Media Deal with Mark Burnett

MSN has closed a deal with reality TV powerhouse Mark Burnett Productions to integrate content and advertising from an upcoming show, according to a source familiar with the deal.

The program, “INXS Rock Star,” will air on CBS and go up against “American Idol.” It uses a talent show format to choose the next lead singer for the band INXS.

Advertisers are yet to be signed, and ClickZ’s source could not disclose the terms or structure of the deal. Negotiations lasted months.

The relationship appears similar in structure to one struck between Burnett and Yahoo last year, involving the second season of hit show “The Apprentice.”

In addition to hosting and selling ads on the official “Apprentice” site, Yahoo promoted some of the show’s many product placements across its various services. Burnett later re-upped with the portal for the show’s third season and signed with it to do another show, the boxing-themed “Contender.”

The Yahoo/Burnett partnership was touted as a huge success by Yahoo execs, and has been closely studied as a case study in cross-media success.

Burnett’s relationship with MSN makes clear there’s no exclusive relationship with Yahoo

Production is underway on “INXS Rock Star,” which will air this Summer. INXS’ previous front man, Michael Hutchence, took his own life in 1997.

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