Online Video Venture Reportedly Moving Ahead

Dec 18, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Despite numerous hurdles, Viacom, News Corp. and NBC Universal may be close to announcing a new online video venture to distribute their TV clips and compete with YouTube, The New York Times reported Monday. The paper said the new venture could be announced this week, but that talks may still fall apart.

That’s because the executives involved are working to see whether they can overcome ongoing issues such as whether the News Corp.-owned property MySpace would be an issue for Viacom’s MTV, which competes online with MySpace, the paper reported. The story also said CBS is in talks with Google about radio advertising and that partnership could deter CBS’s interest in launching a Web site that would go up against Google-owned YouTube.

The biggest issue remains the prospect of consumer acceptance of such a site. Analysts and critics continue to point to the clunky Movielink, an online movie download service owned by the major studios that has failed to take off, as evidence that consortiums among big media companies don’t work well.

The story said the idea for the group originated primarily from NBC and News Corp., shepherded by Peter Chernin, News Corp. president, and David Zaslav, who’s leaving NBC to become CEO of Discovery Communications.

CBS and Fox declined to comment on the Times story. NBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Editor: Liff)