BBC to create 3 channels on YouTube

MUMBAI: Google's YouTube may be facing the heat from the likes of Viacom on copy protection issues but the popularity of the online video network continues to grow. The British Broadcasting Corp. has struck a multi-year content deal with YouTube that will make programming available via three branded channels on the search giant's video-sharing site.

Three YouTube channels — one for news and two for entertainment — will carry content from BBC. BBC Worldwide will air promotional trailers for new programmes and clips from its old hit series on the website.

The aim is to bring new audiences to the proposed BBC iPlayer service, and to secure commercial revenue via BBC Worldwide, its commercial subsidiary, to supplement the licence fee. 

While the current deal includes its promotion of its non news programming, the publicly funded broadcaster also said that news clips will be added in the near future.

From the BBC channel there will be content based on current hits such as Life on Mars and Doctor Who, while from BBC Worldwide there will be clips from old favorites such as Spooks and Top Gear, which are sold globally.


The BBC Worldwide arm also plans to offer around 30 news items a day, though the advertising-funded news clips will not be available to users in Britain who pay the license fee that funds the BBC. The news channel will be launched later this year.

The output will include specially created video diaries such as actor David Tennant taking viewers around the sets of Doctor Who and reporter Clive Myrie on the streets of the red zone of Baghdad.

This would mirror the type of deal that YouTube has in place with US sports organisation NHL. Under the original deals the partners have used the platform for promotional purposes. Channel 4, for example, has a branded promotional channel plugging Ugly Betty.

Several large broadcasters in the US have similar arrangements with YouTube including CBS, which claimed 200,000 extra viewers for The Late Show with David Letterman after clips from the show were posted on the video-sharing website.


BBC Director-General Mark Thompson said: “This ground-breaking partnership between the BBC and YouTube is fantastic news for our audiences. YouTube is a key gateway through which to engage new audiences in the UK and abroad.

“The partnership provides both a creative outlet for a range of short-form content from BBC programme makers and the opportunity to learn about new forms of audience behaviour. It’s essential that the BBC embraces new ways of reaching wider audiences with non-exclusive partnerships such as these.”

Google CEO and Chairman Eric Schmidt said,"We're delighted to be joining forces with the BBC to bring the best TV programming available to the YouTube community. We will continue to invest in our platforms and technologies to help our partners make the most of the enormous opportunities presented by the billion people now online."

YouTube CEO and Co-Founder Chad Hurley said, “We’re constantly looking for innovative ways to bring the best content to our community. The BBC is a premier source for quality programming, and we’re excited that they are leading the way in enabling two-way dialogue and real engagement with an entirely new audience. We hope to open up an entirely new audience for their content, while deepening their relationship with their existing viewers."

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