Yahoo in Talks with studios, nets to Co-Finance Video

Jan 23, 2006  •  Post A Comment

By Chuck Ross

Yahoo is in discussions with various TV networks and studios about co-financing video content that would be seen on the Internet portal.

Saying that Yahoo is not yet prepared to make an announcement about any particular deals, David Katz, head of sports & entertainment for the Yahoo Media Group, told reporters about the discussions during the Television Critics Association’s press tour at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Pasadena, Calif., last week. Just before being hired by Yahoo last July, Mr. Katz was senior VP of strategic planning and interactive ventures for CBS Television.

The content under discussion would not be a traditional full-length TV series, Mr. Katz said, adding that the content might or might not be connected to current on-air programming.

He said 450 million people visit Yahoo each month, and because the portal handles so much volume, Mr. Katz considers Yahoo a broadcaster. As such, Yahoo’s strategy is not only to carry original programming but also to partner with various Hollywood players in co-financing that programming, he said.

Mr. Katz told TelevisionWeek that Yahoo might have, for example, an interest in having original programming featuring a particular movie or TV star with which a particular network and/or studio has a relationship.

The TCA panel that Mr. Katz was on was titled “Distribution: TV’s Future” and was sponsored by the Television Publicity Executives Committee.