YouTube’s $100m TV Content Deals Being Inked

Posted by at 5:54 pm on October 3, 2011

Google’s plans for professional, live YouTube channels are near completion, insiders claimed Monday. Deals were billed by the WSJ as near-final for pro skater Tony Hawk as well as major production studios such as The Office’s ShineReveille, X Factor’s FremantleMedia, and several others. The core of the deals is typical for YouTube and would skim revenue from ads running on each show, although the split between YouTube and the content providers wasn’t mentioned.

Over $100 million was already known to be going into the strategy. Any service is expected to go live in early 2012.

The strategy, while unconfirmed by Google, is believed to be an attempt at creating a full alternative to traditional TV with live, scheduled shows. Google has tried relying on a union of conventional TV and the web through Google TV​ but has so far been shut out. Studios, which are largely trapped focusing on conventional TV until Internet video is more profitable, have frequently blocked Google TV and negated its one real advantage for mainstream content.

YouTube already has a significant number of independents that make a full-time living from Internet-only shows. The new step would potentially give YouTube more of the professionalism of TV in a safe place where studios can’t block it and where it’s accessible on nearly every modern digital platform, including the iPad along with Android.

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