To give YouTube some serious competition, News Corp and NBC Universal are launching a free online service this summer, featuring full length movies and clips from at least a dozen television networks.
The broadcast giants are partnering with three major Internet rivals of YouTube -- AOL, MSN and Yahoo -- who have agreed to distribute the video content for the new online joint venture. Analysts say that the new partnership would bring about a major change in the nascent video market, for it would be the first time that full length films could be viewed for free.
YouTube, owned by Google, has clips less than five minutes in length and industry analysts say they would wait for Google's response to the new challenge posed to it.
Under the terms of partnership, CNET online service reported,
The movies slated for the network will range from the Devil Wears Prada to The Bourne Identity and Little Miss Sunshine, besides several popular television shows.
During a teleconference with the media last afternoon, News Corp Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin and Jeff Zucker, NBC Univeral's CEO, said they had spoken with Google CEO Eric Schmidt earlier in the day about joining the new offering.
"This is obviously not a YouTube killer," Chernin said. "We've said for a long time we believe in the power and benefit of ubiquitous distribution. We are in fact willing to talk to anybody provided they are willing to meet our economic terms and our copyright protection terms."