NBC, News Corp. in online video venture
NEW YORK (AP) — NBC Universal and News Corp. joined forces with several Internet companies Thursday to distribute TV shows online in an effort to better control their programming and stave off competition from YouTube.
The new network, which would launch this summer, comes in response to the explosive growth Google Inc.’s YouTube, a do-it-yourself video-sharing site that is currently being sued by Viacom Inc., another major media company, for copyright infringement.
The venture is aimed at giving broadcasting companies like NBC and News Corp., which owns the Fox broadcast network and the Twentieth Century Fox movie and TV studio, greater control over how their shows are distributed on the Internet.
Programs owned by NBC and News Corp. such as “Heroes,” “24,” and “House” will appear on the network, supported by advertising, and distributed through Yahoo, Time Warner Inc.’s AOL unit, Microsoft Corp.’s MSN site, and MySpace, which is owned by News Corp.
Besides homemade videos, YouTube also carries many clips uploaded by users from copyrighted TV shows such as “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” which airs on Viacom’s Comedy Central cable network.
In its lawsuit, Viacom says YouTube is encouraging copyright infringement. YouTube says it’s protected by law so long as it promptly takes down any copyright-protected material as soon as it’s asked to.