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YouTube to Carry BBC Videos

2 Mar, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) March 2 announced it had entered into a partnership with community video sharing site YouTube.com, including creation of two BBC-branded entertainment channels.

Acquired last year by Google Inc. for $1.65 billion, YouTube reportedly streams about 70 million videos each day.

Under terms of the non-exclusive deal, YouTube will feature the separate channels incorporating content from the BBC and BBC Worldwide, including daily ad-supported international news and entertainment/promotional clips from British-based TV programs.

The BBC News clips will be available only to YouTube users outside of the United Kingdom.

Users will be able to comment on clips, rate them, recommend them to friends and post their own video responses to communicate with the BBC and other users.

The BBC Worldwide intends to use the partnership to test its publicly funded programming, which includes “Life on Mars,” “Doctor Who,” “Spooks,” “The Catherine Tate Show” and “Top Gear,” among others, for a proposed online video player, according to director general Mark Thompson.

“It's essential that the BBC embraces new ways of reaching wider audiences with non-exclusive partnerships such as these,” said Thompson.

YouTube CEO and co-founder Chad Hurley said the partnership would help create a new audience for the BBC while enhancing the quality of YouTube's video offerings.

Last month, YouTube announced it would begin offering television episodes of “I Spy” and “My Favorite Martian,” among others, through a content deal with Digital Music Group, a Sacramento, Calif.-based supplier of more than 4,000 hours of independently owned music and video content.

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