Yahoo! has joined forces with the Seven Network, one of Australia's leading television and media companies. A new 50-50 holding company will be formed that will own Yahoo Australia & NZ and operate under a new name, to be announced in January. A PDF presentation about the deal is here, which states (among other things) that Seven and Yahoo! "will use this vehicle as the exclusive online and mobile platform in Australian and NZ." See also paidcontent.org's take on the news.
At first glance this is a straight forward business deal combining Yahoo!'s global search and technology platform with Seven's localized "rich media and entertainment content". I wonder though if this is a test case for Yahoo's future media plans, signaling bigger things to come. Is a major deal with a US television network on the cards in 2006? Stranger things have happened - i.e. Time Warner's tumultuous marriage to AOL.
Yahoo CEO Terry Semel was quoted in the press release:
"Yahoo! and Seven have very complementary businesses and brands, and we see this as a tremendous opportunity to build a leadership position in Australia. This is the best combination to benefit from increased broadband penetration, rich media consumption, and the growing cross-media advertising spend. Together, I believe we can deliver the most engaging and innovative rich media experience for Australian audiences and advertisers."
Look for more Internet-bigmedia marriages in 2006 - rich media will be huge next year I believe. Let's hope such deals will be more successful than Time Warner and AOL, who ended up sleeping in separate bedrooms.