NBC and NewsCorp. merge

March 29th, 2007

Online video streaming is becoming a new pastime for most Americans–and it’s not going away any time soon.

NBC Universal and News Corp., owner of Fox, have recently merged in order to create a new network that will distribute videos via the internet.

Full-length TV shows and other videos will soon be available on this new network, according to The Associated Press.

Downloading movies and TV shows for one’s own collection will also be possible through it.

The AP reported that the idea behind this portal is to offer copyright-protected and authorized materials that are “supported by advertising.” Companies already geared up for advertising on this still unnamed network include General Motors Corp. and Intel Corp.

This presents a challenge for Google, Inc.’s YouTube.

Their competition. YouTube, which has turned into a widespread craze, has been under recent scrutiny.

Copyright infringement lawsuits have surfaced after Viacom, Inc. claimed the site used its programming without authorization.

The AP reports that while executives see some value in having clips on YouTube, they are frustrated with them being viewed without permission or compensation.
Some may think that the partnering of NBC and News Corp. is unusual, but according to Communications professor and director of WJCU, Mark Krieger, “Both companies understand that broadband distribution of their content is the wave of the future.”

While NBC and News Corp. are the only two major companies involved currently, talks of other networks joining the venture are imminent.

CBS is still deciding if they will participate, while ABC has not made their thoughts known.

With many companies starting to stream their own shows or videos over the Internet, it is apparent that online media competition is only beginning.

Krieger said, “The NBC/NewsCorp. deal is just the start of what will become a flood of new entries in the market.”