BREAKING: NBC and FOX Announce "You Tube Killer" Featuring Full Episodes of Popular Shows

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that NBC and FOX have joined forces to produce an on-line video site meant to rival YouTube. From the WSJ:

The companies said Thursday that distribution partners for the online content would include Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp.’s MSN network and Time Warner Inc.’s AOL unit. The site, which will be free, is expected to launch this summer and will carry full episodes and clips from hit shows such as “Heroes,” “The Simpsons,” “24″ and “My Name Is Earl.” It will also feature movies, including “Borat.”

News Corp. and NBC said they’ve already lined up several big advertisers for the site, including Cisco, Intel and General Motors.

The partnership is a major salvo against YouTube, which has emerged as both friend and rival to traditional media companies. Google has had difficulties striking deals with the media titans, who have accused YouTube — which Google acquired last year — of benefiting from illegal use of their copyrighted material.

Free movies? What? Free? WHAT?—MEGHANN MARCO

NBC, News Corp. Plan Video Site In Challenge to Google’s YouTube (Subscription)[WSJ]

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  1. thrillhouse says:

    wah-wa-wee-wa!

  2. joopiter says:

    Bah…. twenty bucks says I won’t be able to view this new site with my Mac. :(

  3. kakashisan says:

    joopiter

    Time to step up to a real computer then!

    /flame on!

  4. zentec says:

    No only will it not work with a Mac, but those who elect to visit these sites will be treated to a 300 pixel by 300 pixel screen of the video. It’ll be DRM’ed to run only on Microsoft’s video player, and you won’t get to view it anywhere but on a PC. No thanks.

    As tepid as this step is, the networks continue in the right direction. Before it was a complete and utter “NO” to any hint of providing content online. Now, as they step further away from their affiliate agreements, they’ll start to throw their content online in a format which will allow the viewer to watch it on their $2000 HD widescreen regardless of platform or OS.

    But that won’t happen for another several years. The networks are still nervous about putting their goods online, and they still have to abide by the affiliate agreements; some with nearly ten years remaining.

    Nevertheless, if I were a GM at a local TV station, I’d be reaching for the Tums right about now.

  5. mfergel says:

    @joopiter:

    …..or Firefox.

    Does anyone else have problems accessing Hotmail on occassion with Firefox?

  6. Buran says:

    we need yet another site that does the same thing why, exactly? YouTube works. It’s widely used. It works with my Mac. It (I would expect) works with the Linux Flash plugin. It works with Firefox. Most importantly, it has selection.

    The world needs this like a person needs a third leg.

  7. joopiter says:

    @kakashisan: I will not be held responsible for any flame wars on this thread. :P

  8. This will fail miserably.

    -Can’t store content for future use.
    -Windows/Explorer ONLY
    -Advertising
    -Crappy format

    Good luck, clueless old media folks.

    Hell, they’re probably just looking for a good tax-write off when this thing bombs.

  9. Helvetian says:

    Windows is huge and dominates, I think this will be nice. Most developers don’t even worry about Mac users, it’s such a tiny fractional meager portion of the market.

  10. mac-phisto says:

    hey, if it’s got something i can watch that i want to watch, i’ll watch it. i freakin love the fix. if it’s anything like that, i’m game.

  11. silverlining says:

    A new project for sites like KeepVid?

    Seriously, though, as a competitor to YouTube? Seriously? If NewsCorps et al could do social media right, they would have overtaken YouTube a long, long time ago. As it is they’re limping along with social video on MySpace, and that feature is STILL craptastic in comparison with YouTube.

    Pushing free, usually-copyrighted content to users is only one part of YouTube’s success. It seems to me that the other critical components are the sharing/community/social networking capacity of the site, and the incredibly low hurdle for pretty much anyone to become an online movie producer. I just can’t imagine NewsCorps allowing the kind of freedom to reproduce/share content that makes YouTube so popular.

    But hey, if we get free online Simpsons out of the deal, I’m in :)

  12. royal72 says:

    they can accuse youtube of anything they want and tell us all their site is gonna be the best thing since the scooby-doo chia pet. simple fact remains, unless you provide something better, it will not be a youtube killer and in all likely hood, the commercials will be the killer of their new site.

  13. B says:

    Can I get previous seasons of the Simpsons (IE Season 1-8)? If so, it might be worth using Internet Explorer.

  14. davere says:

    YouTube is a social site. That other site will not be able to compete at the same level, it’s a different product.

  15. zentec says:

    @Helvetian:

    If standards were adhered to, it wouldn’t matter.

    FWIW, this site has about 14% of its users on Macs. I don’t think that’s all that tiny of a fraction nor meager.

  16. Google has had difficulties striking deals with the media titans, who have accused YouTube — which Google acquired last year — of benefiting from illegal use of their copyrighted material.


    Please, like they’re trying to make money off of “The Reluctant Dragon”.


    They aren’t going to put up the old stuff you can’t find anywhere so YouTube still wins even before you get to the original content created by the users.

  17. AcidReign says:

    …..It had to happen. It’s the nature of free-enterprise. I’d guess it’s a whole lot cheaper to run a big room full of servers than to maintain a nationwide network of affiliates. Stick a few ads on, and it’s paid for itself and represents a growing market.

    …..People have been taping shows for 30 years, and it’s hardly killed the TV industry! Neither will people copying “Lost” episodes. Even if the shows are DRM’ed, hackers will beat it. Let’s see… When the Betamax started appearing, we had four channels you could get in our city. Now, hundreds, depending on what package you buy. Even with rabbit ears, it’s nine channels.

    …..It’s been a boon to us the past couple of seasons when we’ve screwed up and missed an episode of Lost or Alias, and you could go to the ABC website and watch it. The big technical headache is getting the internet broadcast to display properly on the living room TV. For some reason, Windows Media Center pretty much sizes perfectly in full-screen mode, while getting browser-based video sized for the TV is a pain…

  18. @zentec:

    Not only do a lot of your visitors use Macs, but many of us have to use Windows at work – indicating that your stats are probably off a bit when it comes to platform preference.

    Gee, Apple is irrrelevant. Must be why their computer sales are up every single quarter during the past two years and their marketshare is increasing. But, back to the subject at hand…

    The capability to deliver protected content to Mac and Windows platforms already exists – but NBC and Fox decide they’re going to roll their own, and try to reinvent “video on teh internets” as a mashup of YouTube, MySpace and iTunes?

    Like I said – this is gonna fail. Badly.

  19. joopiter says:

    @AcidReign: I agree – the ABC website worked fairly well for me when I watched episodes there (same shows as you too). The forced commercial breaks didn’t bother me either, considering that the rest of the experience was pretty smooth.

    If this new video behemoth would work like that, it might have a chance.

  20. Terminixsux says:

    Regardless of the problems with format and platforms, it is refreshing to finally see the old-school media giants finally taking any steps to join the modern world instead of trying to derail its progress.

  21. pestie says:

    As a Linux guy, I’m in the same situation as the Mac folks here. But seriously, why would I want to use something that makes me watch video while tied to my PC? When I download a TV show or movie via Bittorrent, I can watch it on my TV with my modified Xbox, or transcode it for use on a video iPod (which I don’t have, but one of my friends does) or write it to a DVD.

  22. cindel says:

    Eh No. One thing that YouTube is Japanese and Korean Movies.

  23. Gasface says:

    First – the impression I get is that the service will offer free CLIPS of movies, not free movies.

    Second – I will not use the site, because it goes against the Web 2.0 movement of getting away from the giant media companies. Someone mentioned DRM. Believe me, this site will be sagging under DRM restrictions. I don’t trust this for one minute.

  24. r81984 says:

    Fox already does this. I usually watch Prison Break at fullscreen, the resolution is not bad at all.

    The future is going to be offering HDTV quality videos online.

  25. Karl says:

    This might have a shot if they don’t over-encumber it with DRM. Currently, NBC and Fox have two very different approaches to DRM.

    NBC’s site lets you watch full episodes of selected shows, such as Heroes. The episodes play in a standard Flash player, so they should work everywhere YouTube does. They use Adobe’s proprietary streaming protocol to “protect” the content. While there are some utilities out there that let you intercept these streams, it’s not nearly as easy as copying a video off of YouTube. People who go to that trouble will probably just get it off of BitTorrent anyway.

    Fox, on the other hand, is a nightmare. Can you view episodes on their site? NO! You have to go to… MySpace! It gets better. Not only do you have to visit MySpace (which, as we all know, is the safest place on the Internet), but you then need to download some “viewer” to your PC. Who knows what kind of spyware that might have. And of course, it won’t work everywhere YouTube will. Give me a break!

  26. Beelzebub says:

    @Karl: I’ve downloaded the Fox player from MySpace — it’s actually just a plug-in, and there’s no spyware on it at all. It’s also somewhat Mac-friendly.

    It’s not a bad experience at all. I’m guessing the new site will be an spin-off of what’s currently on MySpace.

  27. If it’s anything like CBS’s bizarrely awful “innertube”, then Youtube has nothing to worry about.

  28. r81984 says:

    Fox originally did not have their shows on Myspace. Last year, before november they has the video that would play on fox.com. The Myspace transition is pretty new.

  29. sliceofbread says:

    This is suppose to kill YouTube? Make something even more free? Free-er? Heh, why would you consider this a YouTube killer, there are already 20 other video hosting sites out there just as good.

  30. kenposan says:

    ABC already has many of its shows on its website. It as saved me a bunch of times when I have missed Lost. Sure, the screen is smaller, but hey, at least I didn’t have to turn to Pirate Bay and download a torrent.

  31. ZonzoMaster says:

    Free is good =). And those aren’t bad shows.

  32. Mr. Gunn says:

    The thing they can’t comprehend is that people actually like watching their friend’s homemade crap, despite having no production studio behind it.

  33. stancey says:

    Meh. Until they let non-Americans stream their shows, it’ll be YouTube for me…

  34. Helvetian says:

    @zentec: What site? And 14% out of how many? On the world market, Apple is meager. Even the US the marketshare is tiny.