23 March 2007 19:00EST
dominance of online video content is about to end after News
Corporation and NBC Universal joined forces to announce the
world's largest Internet video distribution network.
The leading media giants plan to begin distributing full-length
movies, television shows and video clips from at least 12 networks
and two major movie studios online by the middle of the year.
The bold venture will allow News
Corporation and NBC to control their programming, protecting
it from copyright breaches, and attract advertising online.
Popular television shows such as The Simpsons, 24, Heroes, Saturday
Night Live, and House will soon be available online for free, and
hit movies including Borat, Little Miss Sunshine and The Devil Wears
Prada will also be available.
Combined providers AOL, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo! will become distribution
YouTube's explosive growth is under fire from Communications giant
Viacom Inc who is suing YouTube's owners, Google Inc, in a $US1billion
lawsuit, accusing the website of massive international copyright
infringement. In the past media companies have demanded YouTube
remove unauthorized clips from its site.
owns the Fox broadcast network in the US and the Twentieth Century
Fox movie and television studio. NBC owns the Universal film studio
and cable television channels in America including Bravo. News Corporation
is the parent company of News Limited Australia publisher of The
Discussions are underway with other Internet and content providers
to join the partnership.
Impact on YouTube
Viacom said it welcomed content-owners taking the lead in protecting
their material, and analysts said YouTube was unlikely to be damaged
by the move since its users valued the social networking experience
it offered as much as the video content available on it.
"There is plenty of room for multiple players," said Richard Greenfield,
from Pali Capital. "It is still not clear how user generated content
is going to fit in and it's still not clear that all of these companies
won't do a deal with Google over time."