Posted by: Jon Fine on April 12, 2007
On March 22 NBC Universal and News Corp leapfrog (make that try to leapfrog) YouTube by announcing a complex partnership for a video Web site and syndication service.
CBS decides not to join in as an equity partner.
Three weeks later—that would be today—CBS announces Web video partnerships with (deep breath) AOL, Microsoft, CNET Networks, Comcast, Joost, Bebo, Brightcove, Netvibes, Sling Media and Veoh.
Advantage: CBS. Ubiquity is a better play than throwing in your lot with a service that demanded exclusivity in exchange for said equity stake. (Note that CBS is mulling using NewTube for distribution. I’d be surprised if they didn’t, ultimately. )
Interesting sideline, as pointed out by NewTeeVee’s Liz Gannes:
CBS appears to have gotten with the Viacom anti-YouTube program, and there’s no mention of the site or its parent Google, not even in a shout-out to existing partners: “CBS has previously entered into existing and ongoing content distribution arrangements with Yahoo!, Apple iTunes, Microsoft’s Xbox, Amazon UnBox and many others.” (Guess YouTube qualifies as one of the “many others.”)
Agree on the observation, but not on the interpretation. CBS has been remarkably friendlier with YouTube than Viacom—indeed, friendlier with YouTube than most other media companies, period—down to the March Madness deal they just did. (And seemed pretty happy with, by the way.)
I can’t help but wonder if a deal between CBS and YouTube similar to the others announced today looms as well, no matter what another company affiliated with Sumner Redstone might think of it.
And by the way: Where’s Yahoo in all of this?