Fox and NBC Set Sights on YouTube

Dennis Faas's picture

The kids are are raging about two websites these days, with both boasting enough addictive content to distract them from homework, chores, and life in general. As popular as the two may be, Facebook and YouTube may be headed in very different directions.

In past weeks, it's been announced that Facebook will be infused with Microsoft money and all-new mobile features from BlackBerry developer Research in Motion. That's good news for the social networking site that is creeping up fast on MySpace.

The news hasn't been so hot for YouTube, which was recently sued for its rather natural display of copyright material. The threat of huge lawsuits and a future where posting videos may no longer be a simple gesture is sure to hurt the site's appeal.

Fox and NBC are counting on it.

The two American television juggernauts have recently announced plans to jointly produce their own video service that will directly compete with YouTube. Given its pedigree, the site, named, will closely follow the copyright rulebook whilst seeking impressive advertising rewards. (Source:

So, what will be available?

If you're down with a parade of advertisements, the "premium" content will include The Simpsons, Heroes, and Kiefer Sutherland's 24 amongst others. Other blockbuster sites are involved in the venture (although unsurprisingly, not Blockbuster), including ubiquitous Microsoft, America Online, MySpace, and Comcast. Even the movie bigwhigs are getting involved, with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Sony Pictures jumping aboard. (Source:

Despite its impressive group of founding fathers, analysts believe Hulu will need even more parental guidance, namely Viacom and Disney. NBC brass remains confidant that a fast start will bring more than just these two powers on board the project.

Like YouTube, the site will show its videos right in the web browser. It should also allow easy sharing and posting of videos to independent web sites, though there are rumors that a charge could follow.

Unlike YouTube, this is a corporate and not grassroots approach to Internet video. Given that home videos aren't the focus here (and that's about half of YouTube's draw), Fox and NBC may have unwittingly missed their mark.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet