NBC’s YouTube channel, along with all of the network’s posted videos, has disappeared, as first reported by Valleywag. NBC — which is preparing to launch Hulu, a project long nicknamed a “YouTube Killer” — previously had a revenue-sharing partnership with YouTube for more than a year and was one of the most popular channels on the site.
NBC has been closely woven into the story of YouTube, with the explosion of viewer-uploaded versions of the Saturday Night Live skit “Lazy Sunday” coming at a crucial time in the site’s growth in late 2005. After the damage (or success, depending on how you look at it) had already been done, the network pulled the clip and set up a video portion of its own site to try to divert viewers. But then last June NBC struck a deal with YouTube to create an official channel for short clips from popular shows like Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Office, and SNL.
NBC, however, is now involved with a joint venture with News Corp to claim back control of the two media giants’ content on the web — a deal that is somehow supposed to be simultaneously exclusive and widely distributed around the web. The venture, which has raised $100 million in funding and is now called Hulu, is supposed to launch in some form before the end of this month.