BBC talking to Google about providing video on YouTube
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A BBC spokeswoman confirmed that the publicly funded broadcaster was speaking with Google, which bought YouTube for $1.65 billion last year, about several different options, but that a deal had not yet been signed.
BBC World, the international commercial news channel produced by the British broadcaster, is already the most- watched foreign network in many of the 200 countries in which it broadcasts. If BBC signs an agreement with YouTube, it will follow in the footsteps of U.S. networks like NBC, which created a branded YouTube channel last June, and CBS, which is showing clips from programs like “The Letterman Show.”
Internet video advertising is pegged to earn more than $1 billion in 2008, much of which is expected to come from television advertising budgets. The situation is forcing television producers to choose whether they want to cooperate with internet video Web sites or compete with them.
Under Google’s ownership, YouTube has been approaching broadcasters and other owners of copyrighted material to arrange for the site to carry more authorized material. The company says it removes copyrighted material as soon as it notices the programming or is made aware of its availability. YouTube already features a significant amount of BBC footage.
In addition, all of the major Hollywood studios — including NBC Universal, Warner Brothers Entertainment, owned by Time Warner, and 20th Century Fox, owned by News Corporation — are negotiating with YouTube, seeking licensing agreements that would make their content legally available on the site. But they are also pressing YouTube to adopt filtering mechanisms to keep unlawful material from even showing up.
The Guardian newspaper reported Monday that the BBC and Google would announce a deal Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. The BBC spokeswoman said the Guardian article was premature.