Leading media companies including News Corp., NBC, CBS and Viacom are on the verge of announcing the creation of a website that will feature well-known television programs and other clips and is designed to compete with YouTube. While many media outlets initially dismissed YouTube as a passing fad of dubious legality, Google's $1.6 billion acquisition of the popular website in October spurred this unprecedented collaboration. The site is expected to generate revenues from advertising, will feature clips provided by the companies, and will encourage viewers to contribute their own videos. There is some doubt whether the deal will go through because of conflict of interest faced by MySpace parent News Corp. and by CBS because of its advertising agreement with Google. The announcement may be made by the end of the week; none of the executives involved wished to comment on the progress of the negotiations.
• Sources: New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Newsday, Motley Fool
• Related commentary: CBS Has the Right Idea: Network Television on YouTube, Here's Why News Corp. Won't Sue Google, User Generated Video to Grow to 4.6 billion views in 2007, YouTube versus MySpace Growth: No Contest.
• Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: News Corp. (NWS), Viacom (VIA), CBS (CBS), General Electric (GE). Competitors: Google (GOOG)
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