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NBC wraps arms round iVillage

TV giant engages with women - millions of them

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Media giant NBC is hoping to boost its appeal to the ladies by paying $600m for iVillage, the “online destination” aimed at woman.

iVillage has been around since 1995, and aims to “enrich the lives of women, teenage girls and parents through the offering of unique content, community applications and interactive features".

Today’s deal will certainly enrich its shareholders – or at least those that have bought their stock since the dotcom crash. At one point, iVillage’s shares were above the hundred dollar mark, but in early 2001, were being priced in cents.

But, in an eerie echo of Gloria Gaynor’s singles night favourite, the site said “I will survive” and for the last year it has swung between the $4.00 and $8.70 range. NBC is paying $8.50 cash per share.

And what is NBC getting for its dosh?

As well as the required Oscar’s slide show, iVillage’s front page currently asks the questions “Could a careless email come between you and your man?” and “What do men really look for in a wife?” Mould-breaking stuff to be sure.

More cryptically it asks “Say hello to a total lifestyle makeover – and say goodbye to those excess pounds?”

Hey, wasn’t this deal priced in dollars?

No matter, NBC says the deal will; enable it to “engage millions of loyal iVillage users”, presumably so it can sell them stuff and encourage them to engage with other revolutionary content like…The Apprentice, ER, endless reruns of Friends and the ever popular Joey. ®

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