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TV Networks Discussing YouTube Rival 72

An anonymous reader writes "Reuters is carrying a story indicating that NBC, CBS, Fox, and Viacom are considering banding together to work on a competitive video-hosting site. The goal would be to provide an alternative to Google's YouTube, and presumably direct some revenue in their direction." From the article: "While a deal is still far off, the four media companies envision a jointly owned site that would be the primary Web source for videos from their television networks, the paper said in an online report on, citing people close to the situation. The companies aim to cash in on the fast-growing market of Web video advertising and have also discussed building a Web video player that could play clips, the Journal said. "
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TV Networks Discussing YouTube Rival

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  • Whatever (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kiba Ruby ( 1037440 ) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @04:43PM (#17177360) Homepage
    And they are going to use DRM. Wow...such a compelling service...NOT!
    • Re:Whatever (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Salvance ( 1014001 ) * on Saturday December 09, 2006 @05:11PM (#17177618) Homepage Journal
      Plus, they'll make us watch a 20 second commercial before the video, and 12 30 second commercials during the sitcom. How fun.

      If the networks were smart, they'd encourage viewers to submit good/funny clips from their top shows to Youtube and other video channels. CBS realized the value of posting online with their CBS YouTube channel [], which helped to increase TV viewership as well.

      Internet viewers want to quickly scan 100's of videos to find what works, most don't want to sit down in front of their 17 in monitor in the office and watch TV sitcoms with the family. The advertising model that works for TV just doesn't work on the internet, and networks won't understand this. For now, they should ditch their idea and use the internet to drive traffic to their TV shows, which has huge potential (the only reason I watch The Office is because I saw clips online first).
      • Internet viewers want to quickly scan 100's of videos to find what works, most don't want to sit down in front of their 17 in monitor in the office and watch TV sitcoms with the family.

        If the networks ever want to compete on the Internet, they're going to have to take the plunge and put content out there, even though most people don't have the hardware to display it on their TV yet. It's a chicken-in-egg problem, and in this case it's a lot easier for the content producers to move first.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Of course there will be DRM. It's their IP, they can do what they want with it. You are free not to use their service.

    • Obviously Capitalism is NOT working for you!

      Hopefully they just use those transparent "sponsored by" splashes as the video plays, or something.

      It appears that the business model of TV production is not going to be re-factored with the advent of web-based content delivery.

      The internet "itself" has turned into one big "commercial." Filtering all the online ads is a test of endurance, however 'there's no free lunch'.

      KEEP CONTENT FREE!! -Attention is expensive.

      "I'm a honest hoe, and all my hoes is honest."
  • ... the whole concept of social media ran into a brick wall. A bank wall, at that.
  • Exclusive content? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SilentOneNCW ( 943611 ) <silentdragon@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Saturday December 09, 2006 @04:44PM (#17177370) Homepage
    I don't think the property of *exclusive content* applies to the internet. Digital information can be too easily copied for any exclusive content to stay exclusive for long.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Threni ( 635302 )
      I think it'll be the first step in an effort to remove their stuff from the 'net. Once they're up and running, they'll have a stronger claim that YouTube is a rival, hosting their IP, for free, and doing little to stop it.

      Presumably they'll also be selling their stuff over the net?
    • Well, if the content in question is lame or uninspiring enough that no one bothers to copy it... well then it stays exclusive. Hooray for big TV network dinosaurs!
  • If all those companies can come together to produce a site as easy, unrestricted, and as free of 'red tape' as YouTube i'll eat my hat.

    I'll say it here now.. nothing that the networks will ever develop (regardless of how many of them get involved) will ever compete with YouTube - just won't. Simple as.

    The only way they'll ever beat YouTube is with litigation.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      It's not possible for NBC, CBS, Fox, and Viacom to work together. The closest any one of them came to working with another major corporation is M$ and NBC forming MSNBC. Everything else has been a merger, buyout or ridiculously complex business partnerships. YouTube is the king until they figure out talent > management ego.

      • Hey, if they could work together to create The Battle of the Network Stars [] 30 years ago, they can work together again, right?
      • it's just a short sighted attempt to get a foothold in what they see as dangerous competitor. However youtube would never have got started if people were happy with video piped at the whim of corporations. People like choice and proactive involvement, not buzzworded crap spouting adverts and effectivelly censored output.

        The people trying to do this are the same kind of people who canned Firefly, an act for which I may never forgive them....
  • Just copycats with ZERO originality.

    Should have fought the republican/red state censorship. Nope, you guys rolled over like lapdogs.

    Censorship = boring television. It stifles originality. I enjoy plot and dialogue but I also enjoy nudity and real-life speech(expletives).

    Anyways TV is now mainly aimed at demographics of women and teen girls.

    TV=newspapers. Could be dying out.
    • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
      The Colbert Report

      You can get your boobs and cursing from movies. Go watch seasons 1 - 4 of The West Wing and tell me it isn't great TV.
      • Whilst I agree that The West Wing is great, I think it's very much in the minority. The departure after series 4 of the star writer, Aaron Sorkin (sp?), also suggests an inability of TV executives to really capitalise on their best quality shows. To be honest, even living in the UK where we typically believe our television shows to be of a higher quality than in the US (and containing FAAAAR fewer adverts), I consider there to be so few TV shows worth watching that I'm not willing to pay for a TV licence
        • I live in the UK, and I think the US makes much better TV. It's not that we don't try, it just seems to be budgeting constraints and the channels' love for ad revenue (the Beeb notwithstanding) which get in the way. Whilst the popular stuff from US broadcast networks like 24 and House is fun, the real good stuff comes from HBO and to a lesser extent Showtime. For example, I've been watching The Wire and it's bloody great; some of the best TV I've ever seen. It's easy to deride popular TV but there's plenty
    • What? Nudity in movies is the source of originality? I'm against censorship for the most part, but you're off the tracks there mate. There's a reason why hollywood productions are dubbed kiss-kiss-bang-bang, and the meaningless use of sex + explosions + bad language is the reason movies get boring.

      That said, kids(10+) should be exposed to a little violence and real life. If not, they will find it on the street, or in school, or on YouTube, and when they do their reaction will not be what the protective par
  • Revenue... (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheSHAD0W ( 258774 ) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @04:53PM (#17177462) Homepage
    I'll give even odds that they use Google AdSense for their revenue stream. ;-)
  • Competitive? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @04:55PM (#17177474)
    Reuters is carrying a story indicating that NBC, CBS, Fox, and Viacom are considering banding together to work on a competitive video-hosting site.

    Uh, so just about the entire US broadcast industry is banding together to distribute content through a joint venture. I think the word you want is "anti-competitive", not "competitive".
    • I think the word we want here is "collusion []". Or possibly "cartel".
    • Competitive in the sense that they are competing with YouTube.
    • Agreed, you and booch capture my thought+wording. Next thing we know, the company founded to run the website will end up owning controlling shares in all those companys!

    • Competitive with YouTube, you boob.
    • by Duncan3 ( 10537 )
      Well if they can yank all the copyrighted content off Google and YouTube, they are empty... and screwed.

      Maybe someone will find a way to pay the people that MAKE the videos unlike Google and YouTube? Nah!
    • by GWBasic ( 900357 )

      Yes, but...

      Something to consider is that the "business" of making a television show will change dramatically in the next few years. It used to be that you'd shop around the major networks until someone gave you money for a pilot. Now, you can put together a short clip and post it on YouTube. (Remember, South Park started because of a short that was floating around the internet...)

      I really believe that in 5-10 years we'll be watching shows that started as short clips on YouTube. These shows might end u

  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @04:59PM (#17177508)
    No Need For YouTube When OurTube Is Your Tube!
    • by JazzLad ( 935151 )
      Except in this case, DRM makes Yourtube Our(the networks')Tube

      That doesn't make your post less funny, though.
  • And they say they"...have also discussed building a Web video player that could play clips"

    Wow...what a revolutionary idea...
    Next they'll start putting ads on sites. Or charge for premium content. Dare I say they bring the blink tag back?
  • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @05:11PM (#17177616) Journal
    First, Cuban says Google is stupid for buying YouTube, now all the megamediagiants want to band together to try to beat Google at its own game? Google has some work cut out for it... maybe?

    If you consider that **AA wants to pull the rug out from under Google et al, now MS is trying their hand at the online video thing... then along comes johnny mediagiant to try too.

    Perhaps there is more to this free internet videos thing after all?

    How can the MPAA continue to want to control content and then want to play in the same space as Google?

    The only thing I'm certain of is that this could be very interesting...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rolfwind ( 528248 )
      If ebay has shown anything, firstmover status (specifically the domain name attached to it) in the internet is very important - no matter how crappy the service becomes. It becomes very hard to come into the internet later on and take on a sucessful service that is moderately competent at what they do. (I'm still amazed that Google managed to win search away from yahoo because of this).

      Google didn't buy a videosharing service, they bought a domain name for that 1.5B. And they are banking that it will be t
      • Ebay isn't necessarily a good example because they need a critical mass of users much more than a video hosting site does.
      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )
        Youtube has not content, it is all other poeples content, that it is just hosting. Most of the video I have seen lately was at another site that just linked to youtube, so where ever that content holder choose to hotst their content was where I went i.e. zero video site loyalty.

        The big issue is how much content people are actually watching by going to you tube direct and creating web site loyalty and how many are just linking and are completely indifferent to the site hosting the content.

        All content com

  • Wow.. compelling. As it stands now, I can 'TiVO' or download all the shows I want to watch, sans commercials and bullshit.. or I can subscribe to the networks' version of youtube for $11.99 a month, that has less content and comes complete with commercials and DRM. Yeah.. that's going to work out really well for them.
  • Wow, this venture sounds both as exciting and successful as MusicNet []. (Remember when the major music labels tried to do this?)
  • by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @05:30PM (#17177812) Homepage Journal
    Are they really competing with YouTube? Rather, why are they competing with Apple? Apple is already selling (some of) their shows, and they're apparently pulling in mad bank for it.
    • "Are they really competing with YouTube? Rather, why are they competing with Apple? Apple is already selling (some of) their shows, and they're apparently pulling in mad bank for it."

      I think these are two different markets (if "market" is the right word); plus the networks just don't get it. They correctly see that people are watching illegal copies of their shows on YouTube; but they incorrectly assume that is what is drawing people to the site.

      Apple is selling reasonably good quality, easily portable show
  • building a Web video player that could play clips

    The TV networks aren't stupid. They've got a really long-term vision for this. After they create this "video player," which I hear is going to be called something like "FastTemporalMovement," or "HurryUpNow," they're going to start making some of these clips available on a vast, distributed network they are calling, "The ConnectedLattice." Originally they were going to call it "DenseAdaptiveRegisteredPlaybackAssociationNET," but apparently that was too close to some other experimental project someone else is working on. After their new distributed network gets activated, they're going to pass their video through a series of interconnected tubes and into this distributed network, which will then allow individual users to connect via the "FastTemporalMovement" video player and watch programming on.. get this, here's where it really gets exciting... THEIR HOME COMPUTERS!!!"

    Now tell me the TV networks aren't technology and business innovators! Once people start getting a taste of this "video on your computer" thing, customers will start lining up to pay the networks for quality programming like American Idol and Deal or No Deal. The only potential snag in the networks' plan is that some viewers may, and I think this is only a slim possibility, may start producing their own video content and attempting to place it on the vast distributed network the clever TV folks thought up. What a funny thought that is: consumers actually producing content. Heh heh. Too funny. It'll never happen. The networks are WAY ahead of the game, folks.

    • How did a giant joke get modded interesting? There is a word to describe jokes. But I already posted/don't have mod points.
      • by Infonaut ( 96956 )

        How did a giant joke get modded interesting? There is a word to describe jokes. But I already posted/don't have mod points.

        Someone from one of the networks read it and thought it would be a great idea.

  • Why a joint site? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @05:56PM (#17178044) Homepage

    What do they need a joint site for? If all they want to do is allow limited downloads of their own content, each network can do that right now.

    Also, with a Democratic Congress, anti-trust questions will be asked. Competitors aren't supposed to have joint marketing arrangements. "Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $10,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $350,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding three years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court." (15 USC 2). Antitrust enforcement has been out to lunch since Bush came in, and Congress hasn't questioned this. That's going to change.

  • lame! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mshiltonj ( 220311 ) <mshiltonj @ g m a> on Saturday December 09, 2006 @06:23PM (#17178304) Homepage Journal
    have also discussed building a Web video player that could play clips

    There *is* a player -- it's called Flash. Why do they need another player? DRM, perhaps? No thank you.
  • Simple (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by drsquare ( 530038 )
    If they want to beat youtube, all they have to do is not have that recent youtube change whereby the left-hand menu is right on top of the first column of videos in Firefox. Makes it completely unusuable; apparently all those PHDs don't actually count for anything in the real world when a bug like that gets out.

    Or maybe Google don't think it's worth their while testing on browsers other than IE.
  • News Corp [] is the parent of both Fox and MySpace. Since MySpace already uses video technology akin to YouTube, it's a good bet that this new site might use a derivative of the MySpace video features. If they do go with the MySpace stuff, they'll have a lot of debugging to do ;)
  • Posturing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by OverflowingBitBucket ( 464177 ) on Saturday December 09, 2006 @07:00PM (#17178714) Homepage Journal
    This is probably just posturing to get a better deal.

    The TV networks probably aren't getting as sweet a deal as they'd like from Google/YouTube, so they're threatening to create a rival and use them exclusively. They just want Google to cave to their terms.

    Chances are Google won't.

    Chances are the TV networks won't be able to agree on exactly what they want for some time, will find out how hideously expensive creating a rival would be, and then realise they have to solve the problem as to how to get people to watch their rival as well. This will cost a hefty bucket of money, and there's no way they'll be able to agree how to split the cost fairly.

    Then it'll be back to the negotiating table. Google will give them a token step towards their terms to protect their shattered egos, and the TV execs may or may not take it. Or, possibly, Google will give one TV network a sweet deal and refuse to budge on the others, and the others will effectively be forced to accept a crappy deal or face irrelevance.

  • Some guy creates some new hot gee-whiz technology, mainly to have fun and see what it can do, not for others but what they think would be (which is usually a lot more than most big businesses would plan for the 'consumer')

    Eventually some big company notices the interest in it and thinks, "We should jump in and get our cut out of this." and starts to dream talk up a 'better version' which is "improved by thier knowledge and experience".

    Then Marketing, Legal and PR guys gets wind of the concept and put in th
  • TV networks just need to realise people are sick of their shit.

    They just dont get the hint
  • How come nobody mentions piping YouTube content out to a television channel, or to a series of television channels? This is so blatantly obvious to me.

    Of course, I'm one of those nuts that wants to pipe Internet into TV Land. I've been trying to get the proper resources for a LPTV station, but it is taking me a little while to singlehandedly do this. I already record my own shows, commercials, and other TV-type content.

    If the idea is to push video to users, wouldn't Cable/Satellite TV be ideal for that?
  • How will I find time to be creative with web tools provided by Viacom, when I already spend hours each week designing content and buying cool fashions at TheHub []?

    (Visitors under 13 years of age, please enjoy with a parent or guardian.)

  • The 'big media' conglomerates have always been geriatric/glacial in their movements into new technology.

    I'm thinking this is worthy of note on just how fast they are um... talking about this. They probably see it as targeting a key demographic (the teenager - young adult crowd), which it does and would.

    *deep breath* The reason, I'm guessing, for the seemingly slow movement would be the decision makers are older, fiscal conservatives who are fearful of new technology and systems/processes that transcend

  • If I wanted to watch commercials every five minutes during _Lost_ I'd just watch it on TV.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.