Google Inc.'s YouTube is expected to announce that it has signed a slew of partnerships with media companies and celebrities to produce content for the popular video website.
Among the expected partners are major media companies such as IAC/InterActiveCorp.'s Electus, News Corp.'s ShineReveille unit, RTL Group's FremantleMedia Ltd., as well as skateboarding legend Tony Hawk and "CSI" creator Anthony Zuiker. Several other partners for YouTube's new initiative already create popular original content on the video site.
YouTube is trying to become a next-generation cable provider overseeing dozens of free online "channels" with high grade shows. Google is supposedly putting up more than $100 million in cash advances to get some of the content produced. The company will recoup the funds from advertising revenue it sells against the content, later splitting ad revenue with the partners.
Some partners such as IAC/InterActiveCorp.'s Electus, News Corp.'s ShineReveille will be in charge of producing multiple channels that fit into one of twenty or so categories such as food, comedy and news. YouTube executives are asking partners, who will retain ownership rights over the content, to produce unique shows that will be completely different than those on TV.
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