In an unprecedented move, General Electric-owned NBC Universal and NewsCorp. have announced that will form a video source to compete with Google-owned YouTube. The ad-supported, yet-to-be-named site will be up and running this summer and will feature full-length episodes of shows from NBC and Fox, including Heroes, 24, The Simpsons, and Top Chef. Movies available for downloads are from their respective movie studios, Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox, will also be included. (Movies can also be seen full-length on the site). The companies also are tapping help from some of Google’s rivals, including AOL, Yahoo!, MySpace (owned by News Corp.), and MSN.
Cooperation and ventures among major media companies are not new. In 1989 for example, Paramount Pictures and MCA TV (The forerunner to NBC Universal Television) formed a partnership (Premier Advertising Sales) to sell advertising time in their respective syndicated shows.
Both NBC and Fox have had problems with YouTube in the past because of unauthorized copyrighted material from both studios illegally uploaded on the site.
Last week, Viacom sued YouTube for $1 billion dollars for the company’s material showing up unauthorized on their site. Viacom ordered YouTube to take down over 100,000 clips of their programming.