Only a week after Viacom sued Google‘s YouTube for copyright violations, News Corp and NBC Universal appear to be taking a different path. At least for now. The 2 media giants on Thurs announced they will launch this summer "the largest Internet video distribution network ever assembled" to license their own ad- supported content to sites across the Internet. Initial licensees are AOL, MSN, News Corp’s MySpace and Yahoo!, which must adopt strict copy protections. The venture’s centerpiece will be its own still-unnamed Website, but "this is obviously not a YouTube killer," insisted News Corp pres/COO Peter Chernin. He said talks are already underway with Google CEO Eric Schmidt about a possible alliance. In fact, NBCU pres/CEO Jeff Zucker stressed that the venture is open to working with any entity that meets its copyright and business terms—a proposition that may interest some content owners frustrated in their dealings with YouTube. Execs also said they’re open to new equity partners. The companies hope the venture will appeal to advertisers, which are often reluctant to associate with unpredictable user-generated and unauthorized premium content. Charter advertisers include Cadbury Schweppes, Cisco, Esurance, Intel and GM, with Royal Carribbean and another unnamed advertiser signing up within hours of the deal’s unveiling Thurs morning. As for the main "video rich site," the companies promised "a rich consumer experience featuring personalized video playlists, mashups, online communities and video search." (During the press call, execs said the site will include user-generated content but will mainly focus on ad-supported premium fare). The new company will be located in New York and Los Angeles. A transitional management team led by NBCU Chief Digital Officer George Kliavkoff and staffed with execs from both companies will work together to launch the site, with permanent management being announced "shortly."

The Daily



More former Crown Media Family Networks execs have joined upstart GAC Media . Mary Dzabic was named CFO, reporting to President/CEO Bill Abbott . She spent more than 20 years at Crown

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