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NBC, News Corp. Tackle YouTube

Old and new media alike are teaming to battle the Google/YouTube video giant as it was announced today a new online video site is being put together by News Corporation and NBC Universal. This as yet unnamed site will offer thousands of hours of full-length programming, movies and clips, representing content from at least a dozen networks and two major film studios, and will have as its initial distribution partners AOL, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo.

This new video site, which will debut this summer, will offer consumers free long- and short-form video driven by advertisers such as Cadbury Schweppes, Cisco, Esurance, Intel and General Motors. When the site first goes live viewers will be able to enjoy full episodes and clips from current hit shows, including Heroes, 24, House, My Name Is Earl, Saturday Night Live, Friday Night Lights, The Riches, 30 Rock, The Simpsons, The Tonight Show, Prison Break, Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader and Top Chef, plus hits from the studios’ vast television libraries, will be available in an online setup which features  personalized video playlists, mashups, online communities and video search.

Examples of films available include Borat, Little Miss Sunshine, Devil Wears Prada,The Bourne Identity and Bourne Supremacy with bonus materials and movie trailers. Post-launch, plans will include additional content as well as producing and licensing original programming.

Each distribution partner (with more coming on perhaps later) will feature the site’s content in an embedded player customized with a look and feel consistent with each site. The new video site company itself will be located in New York and Los Angeles.

“This is a game changer for Internet video,” said Peter Chernin, President and Chief Operating Officer of News Corporation, in a statement. “We’ll have access to just about the entire U.S. Internet audience at launch. And for the first time, consumers will get what they want — professionally produced video delivered on the sites where they live. We’re excited about the potential for this alliance and we’re looking forward to working with any content provider or distributor who wants to take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity.”

“Anyone who believes in the value of ubiquitous distribution will find this announcement incredibly exciting,” added Jeff Zucker, President and CEO of NBC Universal. “This venture supercharges our distribution of protected, quality content to fans everywhere. Consumers get a hugely attractive aggregation of a wide range of content, and marketers get a novel way to connect with a large and highly engaged audience.”

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