LOS ANGELES Bon Jovi has a new album and a new gig -- artist in residence with U.S. television network NBC, its affiliated cable TV networks, and all its news, information and digital brands.
In a deal unveiled by NBC Universal on Thursday, the veteran rock band will perform on NBC's "Today" show on four Wednesdays in November, and lead singer Jon Bon Jovi will be a guest on cable channel Bravo's "Inside the Actor's Studio," as well as the subject of a character showcase on the company's USA network.
The band's music, and its new studio album "The Circle" which launches on Nov 12, will also be featured heavily throughout NBC Universal's network and cable programing.
The unusual deal gives NBC Universal, a unit of General Electric Co, exclusive access to the band and its music during the first month of the album's launch, while giving Bon Jovi the opportunity to reach a diverse audience.
NBC is currently lagging at the bottom among the four leading U.S. TV networks amid falling audiences for all network programing in recent years.
The Grammy-award winning New Jersey band has sold more than 120 million albums worldwide in its two decade career and was one of the top five touring acts worldwide in 2008. But album sales have also fallen sharply over the past 10 years due to digital downloads, piracy and the recession.
"The Circle", the band's 11th studio album, will be released on Island Records, a unit of Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group. Vivendi has a 20 percent stake in NBC Universal.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)