Broadcaster Cuts Landmark YouTube Deal

LONDON: Britain’s independent television network, Channel 4, signed a deal with Google’s YouTube to feed shows to the Web site.

“YouTube and Channel 4 have signed a pioneering content deal that will make the broadcaster’s original programs available on demand, in full and free-of-charge via YouTube in the U.K. in the coming months,” the companies said a joint statement. “The strategic partnership marks the first time that a broadcaster anywhere in the world has made a comprehensive catch-up schedule available on YouTube.”

Under deal terms YouTube will get around 3,000 hours of Channel 4 content, (including “Daredevils,” depicted here) to be made available on demand. The material will start appearing in the coming month and be “fully available in 2010,” both said. All content will be available only in the United Kingdom, and be free of charge, supported by advertising.

Specific financial terms were not disclosed, but the two will do an ad-revenue split, with initial terms running three years. Channel 4 will have a branded presence on YouTube and will be able to sell advertising around its own content as well as some non-Channel 4 content. Terms are non-exclusive; Channel 4 will be able to distribute its content on its own Web site and on third-party sites as well.

“Channel 4 was the first broadcaster anywhere in the world to make all its commissioned content available online and we’ve consistently pioneered in this field,” said Channel 4 chief executive Andy Duncan. “Making our programs directly accessible to YouTube’s 20 million U.K. users will financially benefit both Channel 4 and our independent production partners and help bolster our investment in quality British content.”