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NBC Not Buying Tribe.net Yet

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Although NBC has enough of an interest in the lightly-used social networking site, no one at the network has signed a check yet for the company.

NBC has purchased iVillage, the female-oriented networking site, and made a content distribution deal with YouTube that makes viral NBC videos available on NBC’s site. The company may make Tribe.net another feather in its peacock plumage at some point.

But not today.

PaidContent reported that the agreement to acquire Tribe.net still has to work through its due diligence process. By having a letter of intent in place, NBC does look like it is ready to swoop in and pick up the website; Valleywag broke the story on July 3rd.

If and when it does go through, NBC should pick up the site for a fraction of what News Corp paid for MySpace. That deal saw Rupert Murdoch’s growing Internet empire part with $580 million to make MySpace part of its online space.

The PaidContent report predicted a price range of up to $50 million, and it could be substantially less. A source cited in the article claimed the price would end up being close to $5 million.

A separate guest post on Valleywag by Occam Networks’ CTO and founder Mark Rumer speculated on a possible motive and strategy being employed by NBC with its purchases and interest in Tribe.net:

As a long-time tribe user, and entrepreneur, the NBC deal (if real) indicates a positioning within NBC to cozy up to a more left-wing demographic. In fact, severing their partnership w/MS, investing in YouTube, and grabbing iVillage (with their respective demographic) shows a decided interest in new generation free thinkers at a point in time that the US is starting to realize Fox is a caricature of the Right. Media tends to oscillate in this manner as demographic opportunity presents itself.


Rumer describes Tribe.net’s userbase as “eclectic,” while Valleywag editor Nick Douglas quipped its “the social network preferred by Bay Area hippies and ravers.” Both descriptions would seem to fit a left-leaning strategy, should this be why NBC Universal, a division of Dow Jones Industrial Average component GE, wants the company.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

NBC Not Buying Tribe.net Yet
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