Google eyes Miramax films for YouTube, Google TV

miramax-good-will-hunting-robin-williams-matt-damon

Miramax is about to become an independent company again and Google is hoping to be its first partner. The search giant is in talks to license Miramax’s 700+ film library for distribution on YouTube and Google TV, the LA Times reports. The move could help Google remain relevant amidst a growing number of competitors.

Since its launch last month, Google TV has seen several setbacks as a significant number of broadcast networks and cable channels have blocked the devices from accessing their web-accessible TV episodes and movies. YouTube also faces increased competition from subscription streaming services like Hulu and Netflix, which offer what YouTube lacks: network television shows and Hollywood movies.

Miramax has a diverse film library. No Country For Old Men, The Queen, Kill Bill, Good Will Hunting, The Cider House Rules, Cold Mountain, Gangs of New York, Clerks, Chasing Amy, Bridgette Jones’s Diary, City of God, Finding Neverland, Pulp Fiction, Trainspotting, and Chicago are some of its best known films. However, it is unknown how many of these films will actually be available for Google to license. Cable networks and pay channels like Starz often buy exclusive licenses to films that last anywhere from a few months to more than a decade. Netflix recently made a deal with Starz valued at $1 billion.

In July, an investor group led by Ron Tutor and Colony Capital agreed to purchase Miramax from Disney for $660 million, a deal which should finalize in the coming weeks. Once the company is sold, the deal may move forward.

It will be interesting how Google distributes the films, should a deal be finalized. YouTube and Google TV do not currently have subscription fees or pay-per-play content.

Do you think Google needs to license its own content for YouTube and Google TV?

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