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YouTube Could Have Rival

Mike Sachoff
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-12-18

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The major broadcast networks are reported to be in serious talks about creating a site that would rival the popular video sharing site YouTube. As I reported last week the networks are hoping to create a site that would directly compete with YouTube. An announcement on such a deal could come as early as this week.

The companies that are involved are Fox, Viacom, NBC Universal and CBS. The latter has seen an increase in viewer ship since it downloaded over 300 video clips to YouTube last month.
The idea for the proposed site is to be ad supported and feature the media companies clips as well user generated clips. The negotiations are fragile and an anonymous executive close to the deal said, "They really want to do it, Ten minutes after they do it they'll want to kill themselves." Bringing all sides into agreement will be a major obstacle and negotiations could fail all together.

Another area that could be a potential issue is the question of antitrust laws. It is not known if the networks would make their proposed site exclusive or if they would share clips with a competitor like YouTube. If they did decide to share clips with competitors then they would have to do something about licensing clips and if they decide to remain exclusive they could come under federal scrutiny.

The blogosphere has reacted to this news in a mainly negavtive way. They see the whole venture as ill fated and with little chance of success even if the networks can reach an agreement. Jeff writes," a consortium owned entity is a very bad idea. Not only is managing the needs of the individual corporate agendas going to be an effort in futility, but without an omniscient view of the future of online video it wont be long before someone innovates around them."

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