Title: Senior VP, digital distribution, NBC Universal
Date of birth: July 24, 1974
Place of birth: Long Beach, N.Y.
Big break: Mr. Lamprecht joined NBC in 2000. Two years later, David Zaslav, then president of NBC Universal Cable, moved him from
business corporate development to director of new media.
Who knew?? Mr. Lamprecht loves watching the Fox show “Cops” and has a season pass on his TiVo for the show.
NBC Universal made a pitch late last year to mobile television provider MediaFlo: Let us supply one-quarter of your content.
At the time, MediaFlo, a service of cellular technology firm Qualcomm, was gearing up for the March launch of what it billed as mobile broadcast-quality video on Verizon phones.
Mobile TV proponents had their eyes on the launch as a potential landmark moment in cell phone video because of the ease of use and the near-TV-quality viewing experience.
“We came back with our vision of how we thought we could help them drive their new platform to start this future of the cell phone and TV,” said Ron Lamprecht, senior VP of digital distribution at NBCU, who led the negotiations for the deal. “We wanted to show them that we were committed to this huge investment they were making.”
Qualcomm had invested more than $800 million to develop MediaFlo, which would launch with eight video channels. NBCU’s pitch was to serve as its news channel, supplying content from CNBC, MSNBC, “NBC Nightly News” and other shows, and also to program an entertainment channel, weaving in material from prime time, late night and its portfolio of cable channels.
MediaFlo said yes, so now NBC and NBC News share that cellular video real estate with CBS, Fox, ESPN, MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.
“Negotiating the deal was complex and time-consuming, as both parties were breaking new ground in delivering a true mobile TV experience,” said Dan Novak, senior VP of programming and advertising at MediaFLO USA. “Through it all, Ron kept his sense of humor and worked tirelessly with our team to define a partnership that would benefit both organizations.”
At NBCU, Mr. Lamprecht is charged with supporting the traditional distribution of linear TV by developing companion digital content, such as high-definition channels or broadband packages, as well as with striking deals to bring NBCU programming to new venues, such as wireless and Internet TV.
One of his goals for the next 12 months will be to ink more deals with all the major cellular video providers to expand NBCU’s mobile presence. In addition to the MediaFlo deal, NBCU re-signed with mobile video provider MobiTV earlier this year. With those twin deals, NBC became the first broadcaster to supply prime-time shows to mobile phones.
Mr. Lamprecht has earned the respect of his peers. “[Ron] is very, very difficult but also fair,” said Ryan Hughes, VP of online and wireless content for Verizon Wireless. “He walks a very tight line quite successfully in terms of being a great partner and being someone, every time you sit down across the table from him, you know you’re in for a good one.”
Mr. Lamprecht also is responsible for guiding NBCU’s efforts in placing content on emerging Internet properties. NBCU already offers shows from its networks on iTunes, and Mr. Lamprecht would like to grow that relationship as Apple expands into Apple TV and the iPhone. “We are talking to them about a lot of different things — working with Apple TV, possibly, and iPhone to bring our video to consumers. Those are the dialogues I am having on a daily basis,” Mr. Lamprecht said.
In addition, he’s talking to Sony, Amazon Unbox, Microsoft Xbox and other companies with new TV distribution outlets.
Mr. Lamprecht brings to his job an engineering background, having earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He worked as an engineer for two years before completing an MBA from New York University.
He said his engineering background helps him to think through technology quickly so he can dive into the business opportunity.
He also works as an adjunct instructor at Columbia University in the Executive Information Technology Management program.
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