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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 March 2007, 19:36 GMT
TV networks plan rival to YouTube
Kiefer Sutherland in 24
Shows such as 24 will be found on the new portal
Two US television networks are to combine their TV shows into a single online portal, to counter the threat of video-sharing sites such as YouTube.

NBC Universal and Fox will put top shows such as 24, House and Heroes as well as hit movies on the site, which will carry advertising.

The initiative is designed to give the firms greater control over how their content is accessed on the internet.

Viacom has launched a $1bn copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube.

'Legitimate path'

Viacom, which owns MTV and Nickelodeon, says YouTube uses its shows illegally.

Viacom alleges that about 160,000 unauthorised clips of its programmes have been loaded onto YouTube's site and viewed more than 1.5 billion times.

Google, which owns YouTube, has said it is confident that YouTube has respected the legal rights of copyright holders.

We will have access to just about the entire US internet audience at launch
Peter Chernin, News Corporation

Experts believe that other TV networks could soon join the distribution alliance, which will offer hit movies such as Borat and The Devil Wears Prada as well as TV shows.

The features will be distributed through Yahoo, AOL, MSN and MySpace networks.

News Corporation, owner of the Fox TV network and the 20th Century Fox film studio, said the development would raise internet video to a whole new level.

"We will have access to just about the entire US internet audience at launch," said Peter Chernin, its chief operating officer.

"For the first time, consumers will get what they want - professionally produced video delivered on the sites where they live."

Impact on YouTube

Viacom said it welcomed content-owners taking the lead in protecting their material.

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."

Viacom will sue YouTube for $1bn
13 Mar 07 |  Business
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10 Oct 06 |  Business
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09 Nov 06 |  Business

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