Cable operator Comcast Corp. Thursday said it will sell popular NBC television shows, such as "Law & Order" and "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," through its video-on-demand service starting in May.
The deal makes available top prime-time and late-night programs from the NBC broadcast network, as well as popular shows from NBC Universal's USA, Bravo and Sci-Fi cable channels.
NBC's prime-time programs will be available to Comcast digital cable subscribers as early as the midnight following broadcast for 99 cents each, the companies said. Late-night, daytime and cable shows will be available for no additional charge. (MSNBC is a Microsoft-NBC joint venture.)
Comcast offers more than 7,000 on-demand programs per month, a response to the changing habits of consumer interested in scheduling their own television viewing rather than watch programs according to times set by the networks.
The No. 1 cable operator in the United States had previously reached an agreement with CBS Corp. to offer its programming on-demand.
U.S. broadcast television networks have also been changing aspects of their business models to meet the challenge posed by digital video recorders and the Internet.
General Electric Co.-controlled NBC and its rivals sell episodes of their hit shows to be viewed on the popular iPod digital video and music device.
Comcast rival Time Warner Cable, part of Time Warner Inc. , said earlier this week it was in talks with the four top U.S. networks to create a "Hits channel" with on-demand access to their most popular shows.