YouTube In Talks To Offer Full-Length Shows In UK

May 20th, 2009 | By | Category: Streaming Video, Video

"new" vista television by massdistractionNew Media Age is reporting that video giant YouTube is working on a plan to offer popular full-length television shows to viewers in the United Kingdom. Talks are said to be underway between YouTube and British TV networks Channel 4 and ITV, and with Sony Pictures, for rights to stream those companies’ programs.

NMA calls YouTube’s actions “a scramble,” as the Google-owned video site is racing against CBS-owned and to be the first major “long-form” streaming video provider in the country.

The market for video-on-demand in the UK is wide open: An nascent joint venture between Channel 4, ITV, and BBC Worldwide (the commercial part of BBC), nicknamed “Project Kangaroo,” was scuttled in February by the country’s Competition Commission. It was feared that the combined power of those three companies (and their extensive content catalog) would pose an “unfair threat to competition” by other VOD providers.

NMA reports that YouTube will be “kicking off a service in the UK which will then be rolled out to five European territories.”

Even if YouTube becomes the first major commercial entrant in to the UK long-form video race, it will still have to become more effective at making money with its extensive TV offerings. In the United States, YouTube is far and away the most-used streaming video site, with over 40 percent of all online video being viewed on that site. Yet, the cost to service that huge video demand, without an effective revenue model, has caused the company to lose approximately $470 million in the past year.

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