ISSUE-CENTRIC ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMMING
NBCUniversal programming reaches millions of people each day, giving us an unprecedented opportunity to advance conversations about social issues. Hundreds of our shows and storylines explore complex issues that affect our viewers’ lives and move them to think about difficult subjects from more than one perspective.
For example, E! News host Giuliana Rancic shared her personal experience with infertility with viewers on the Style Network show Giuliana and Bill. Together with her husband, Giuliana offered a candid, real-world perspective on an experience that many face, but few talk about publicly. Thousands of viewers followed her ongoing story, responding with messages of support and encouragement, and cheering the birth of her baby boy in August 2012.
NBCUniversal writers also used the power of our entertainment programming to develop honest, authentic storylines that connected with viewers on a deeply personal level. On Parenthood, Kristina Braverman (played by Monica Potter) dealt with a breast cancer diagnosis throughout the 2012 season, taking viewers along with her on the emotional roller coaster from diagnosis through treatment to remission and recovery. Other Parenthood episodes explored sensitivities about race, the experiences of returning veterans, and life with a child who has autism.
On the science-fiction drama series Revolution, which explored the struggles of surviving in a world without power, we partnered with The Nature Conservancy and our own Green is Universal initiative to shine a spotlight on resource conservation. We launched the partnership with a Nature Conservancy blog post by Executive Producer Eric Kripke, which offered 10 energy-saving tips. Throughout the season, several episodes with environmental themes included verbal or visual cues connected to content on The Nature Conservancy’s blog. Viewers could then dig deeper into issues such as water or energy use on The Nature Conservancy’s website and social media. For example, after a blog post that delved into the connection between the electrical grid and a clean water supply, a Revolution episode featured a scene in which one of the characters filled a bottle with clean water at a pump.
We also helped viewers learn how to fight obesity and live healthier lifestyles with the nutrition and exercise information in each episode of The Biggest Loser.
SPROUT’S KINDNESS COUNTS
Sprout is our 24-hour preschool television channel that parents and kids share together. Reaching more than 55 million homes, Sprout is the No. 1 on-demand service for younger children — its programming helps parents reinforce good habits and gives kids the power to make smart, thoughtful choices every day.
Sprout's Kindness Counts campaign, now in its second year, teaches preschoolers about empathy and the importance of kindness. The campaign encourages kids to perform small acts of kindness and share their stories on the Kindness Counts website. In 2012, Kindness Counts focused on the importance of being kind to yourself, showing preschoolers and their families how an active lifestyle and smart food choices can add up to healthier living. Sprout partnered with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative, the American Heart Association, and the Learning Care Group to make the campaign fun and informative for kids, parents, and caregivers. It included a series of public service announcements (PSAs) featuring Big Bird, Ann Curry, Brian Williams, and other NBCUniversal stars; digital and social media components; programming tie-ins; and local extensions.
Sprout also developed a mobile app that gives families 10 health challenges to complete together, and then presents digital rewards for their success. The award-winning Sprout Family Challenge app includes social media features to let families share their experiences on Facebook and Twitter. Kids and their families have completed more than 13,500 challenges and recorded more than 115,000 kind acts as part of the campaign.
Comcast and NBCUniversal provided about $250 million in airtime for public service announcements.
THE MORE YOU KNOW
Our long-standing public service campaign The More You Know offers an antidote to the often overwhelming amount of social messaging in the media landscape. Our strategy: Give viewers small, concrete, manageable steps that can set realistic change in motion. The campaign’s widely recognized PSAs focus on the core areas of education, diversity, health, and the environment.
The PSAs feature NBCUniversal celebrity role models who provide easy-to-use information about important social issues, moving audiences beyond awareness and inspiring them to act. This multiplatform campaign includes on-air and online content as well as community outreach components.
The More You Know partners with leading nonprofits and government agencies to ensure we deliver the most credible, useful, timely information possible. Last year, the campaign featured additional PSAs leading up to the 2012 election, with celebrities such as NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams and Community star Yvette Nicole Brown encouraging Americans to register to vote and make their voices heard.
In 2012, USA Network, NBCUniversal’s top-rated cable network, significantly expanded its Characters Unite public service campaign to fight hate and discrimination, and promote tolerance and respect. The year-round campaign grew to include more original programming and PSAs, digital content, and community events across the country.
As part of Characters Unite, USA Network launched its "I Won’t Stand For…" initiative to drive home the message that anyone, anywhere can combat discrimination in all its forms — including racism, religious intolerance, bullying, and hate crimes. The effort featured PSAs and an interactive microsite where people could post their own videos sharing which form of hate they won’t stand for. Consumers and employees could also join the movement by stamping their own "I Won’t Stand For…" T-shirts at on-the-ground events in various cities and at the NBC Experience Store in New York City.
USA also extended its reach through new endeavors in film, engaging a broader audience with stories of real people fighting discrimination. The network forged a partnership with the National Football League (NFL) to create a documentary in which NFL athletes share their personal journeys of overcoming prejudice and discrimination. The network also launched the new Characters Unite Quarterly Film Series, which addresses social injustice and uses the power of storytelling to spark dialogue, open minds, and inspire progress on important civil and human rights issues.
Additionally, USA expanded its Characters Unite Awards program, which provides $5,000 grants to local community heroes, recognizing their extraordinary efforts to create positive change in their communities. USA and its affiliate partners honored 10 winners on air, online, and at hometown ceremonies.
NBC News created Education Nation in 2010 to elevate and invigorate the national conversation about public education in America. Education Nation produces multimedia stories featuring innovative solutions being implemented in schools and communities around the country, with the goal of inspiring others to adopt and build upon these ideas.
Through multimedia storytelling and in-depth reporting, Education Nation allows us to showcase the most effective solutions improving education today. For example, a story about Geddes Elementary School in California shows how bilingual education at an early age can lead to improved outcomes in language arts and math. A story about the Carpe Diem charter school in Arizona reveals how technology can not only supplement, but transform classroom education.
Educators, policymakers, and parents have responded positively, participating in an annual Education Nation Summit, joining the conversation online, and moving it forward through their own social networks. Education Nation continues to spark solution-focused dialogue about the state of education in America, exploring real-world success stories to propel positive change for more students.
We go beyond broadcasting national and world news to inform viewers about events and issues closer to home. Our unique local news platform, Comcast Newsmakers, gives our audiences deeper insights and meaningful context for what’s happening in their own backyards.
In informative, five-minute segments, Comcast Newsmakers features interviews with local, state, and federal officials, as well as civic leaders who make an impact in communities across the country. The on-air, online, and on-demand programming zeroes in on local concerns, but also covers issues that are national in scope.
We produce a national edition in Washington, D.C., and local versions in 25 states. Last year, the national edition featured 67 interviews with members of Congress, and 46 interviews highlighting diversity-focused and nonprofit organizations.
#26ACTS OF KINDNESS CAMPAIGN
After the December 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, NBC News correspondent Ann Curry found a way to generate goodness from grief with a simple idea: What if we all committed an act of kindness to honor each victim of the shooting? What began with a single tweet quickly swelled into a wave of compassion, with people across the country donating food, trees, toys, and money; anonymously picking up dinner tabs or buying gas for strangers; and pitching in to clean up beaches, parks, and neighborhoods. The #26Acts of Kindness movement went viral immediately, with participants tweeting about their kind acts, encouraging others to join, and sharing the healing power of goodwill after such a painful national tragedy. The effort has garnered more than 1.2 million page views on NBCNews.com, more than 101,000 Facebook likes, and coverage from national media outlets including USA TODAY, The Associated Press, and The Huffington Post.
More than 100%
Total increase in diverse On Demand and online programming over the last two years.
Increase in our On Demand programming for diverse audiences compared with 2011.
Combined hours of diverse On Demand and online programming available in 2012.
DAILYCANDY: START SMALL, GO BIG
DailyCandy is the premier online destination for insider deals and discoveries from small businesses around the country, reaching more than 6 million online readers. With its Start Small, Go Big initiative, DailyCandy capitalizes on its widespread influence to catapult startups forward, increasing exposure, website traffic, media interest, and sales for new small businesses.
The strength of DailyCandy’s brand had an impact on all 18 finalists in the 2012 Start Small, Go Big contest, boosting sales and awareness. The six winners — selected by DailyCandy’s editors and more than 156,000 votes from readers —received one-on-one mentoring sessions with industry leaders in fashion, food and drink, health and beauty, home furnishing, and the digital and technology sectors. They also received DailyCandy’s endorsement on its various digital platforms, including social networks, a website, a mobile app, and e-newsletters that engage some of the most loyal readers in the digital community. DailyCandy’s Start Small, Go Big webpage offers small-business owners insights, tips, and resources to support them as they get their businesses off the ground.
PUBLIC, EDUCATIONAL, AND GOVERNMENTAL PROGRAMMING
We’re committed to providing our audiences with locally generated content that’s relevant to their lives, and we’re uniquely positioned to provide this content in new ways, including On Demand and online. Our pilot program Project Open Voice hosts public, educational, governmental (PEG), and other local programming, and delivers it in ways that are more interactive and relevant to today’s audiences.
Comcast worked with community and PEG leaders in six pilot communities across the country to develop unique local brands for the new program. We engaged nearly 300 organizations and established a social media network of more than 2.5 million users as part of the project. As we continue to build the Project Open Voice brands, we provide ongoing support through community and public relations, content coordination, and multiplatform marketing.
MISSING KIDS ON DEMAND
Comcast’s Missing Kids On Demand initiative uses our vast network to spread the word as broadly as possible when a child goes missing. We partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children® on the initiative, which offered viewers across the country on-demand access to 120 profiles of missing kids in 2012.