Microsoft and NBC have been in a very long partnership which lasted for 16 years. This partnership resulted in the creation of the popular news site, MSNBC.com. Now, however, NBC has acquired the complete control of the platform and this marks the end of the partnership between the two giants.
The site was launched in 1996. It initially included both NBC and Microsoft as partners with 50-50 stake. The venture proved wildly successful and is the top news site in the U.S. boasting some 55.7 million visitors.
In 1996, when the venture was launched, Microsoft invested $220 million into it. However, Microsoft was already pretty much out of the game when it sold a major portion of its stake in 2005. This allowed NBC to gain an 82 percent stake in the MSNBC network. Moreover, it also let NBC have the option of claiming the rest of the stakes within the next two years.
It is only now that NBC has plans of rebranding the MSNBC network as NBCNews.com, now that it has all the stakes of the network. Reports suggest that Microsoft was paid $300 million for its part of the share. However, this doesn’t mean a definitive end of collaboration between the two giants.
Rather, MSNBC.com will continue to roll out its content to MSN.com, which is owned by Microsoft. In turn, MSN.com will send back traffic to MSNBC.com. Moreover, for some time the home page of MSNBC.com will mirror the new URL to which the network is shifting, NBCNews.com. Eventually, NBCNews.com will become the permanent address of MSNBC TV.