NBC Universal and Newscorp are teaming up to offer their content on their own video website. They'll be offering full length programs, paid for by advertising, just like broadcast. They've invited other networks to join them as well. Since Viacom is already suing YouTube for a billion dollars over showing their copyrighted material, it looks like YouTube might get left with only clips of cats and people who fell down in an amusing way if they're not careful.
The impetus behind the venture is to provide an authorized, copyright-protected and ad-supported alternative to YouTube, which has turned into an enormously popular online destination, with some of its hits coming from user-uploaded shows from television.
TV executives say they see the promotional value of having short clips from their shows available on YouTube, but many also say they're frustrated that so much of their programming shows up in way that's unauthorized and doesn't result in any compensation back to them.