Two media giants are joining forces to distribute full-length TV shows and other video over the Internet.
The new venture from NBC Universal and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is seen as a direct challenge to the growing success of video sharing sites like YouTube.
The as yet unnamed online portal will show video streams of hit shows like 24 and also allow users to download movies and TV shows to own and play back whenever they want.
The site will be supported by advertising and is being set up amidst frustration from TV executives that hit programmes are turning up on video sharing sites.
The news comes just one week after another major media company, Viacom filed a $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube.
It contends that almost 160,000 unauthorized clips of Viacom programming have been available on YouTube and that these clips had been viewed more than 1.5 billion times.
But YouTube maintains it’s protected by law so long as it takes down any copyright-protected material as soon as it’s asked to do so.
Viacom also plans to distribute video online through a new startup company called Joost.