SNL's Christmas Box is a YouTube Hit for NBC

Posted on December 21, 2006

The New York Times reports that the raunchy, unedited version of SNL's Christmas Box sketch is a huge hit. The YouTube page< hosting the video shows nearly 3 million views.
Given the subject matter, it was little surprise that NBC bleeped a recurring word in the chorus 16 times. But soon after the broadcast concluded at 1 a.m. Sunday, viewers who'd seen the bit on TV (and others who had just heard about it) could find the uncensored version online. That's because the network itself had placed it on its own Web site (nbc.com) and YouTube.com, under the headings "Special Treat in a Box" or "Special Christmas Box."

In less than a week the official uncensored version of the video has been viewed by over two million people on YouTube alone. In the process "Saturday Night Live" appears to have become the first scripted comedy on a broadcast network to use the Web to make an end-run around the prying eyes of both its internal censors and those of the Federal Communications Commission, whose jurisdiction over "Saturday Night Live" effectively ends at the Web frontier.
Both the CBS channel and the NBC channel on YouTube.com seem to be doing well getting people to watch their YouTube videos. But where is ABC? Comedy Central should also launch a channel. It is great they finally added embed codes but those expiration dates are going to make bloggers les likely to post the videos -- and it is the posting of videos in blogs and on websites that make videos rapidly obtain millions of views.