That Cross-Company-YouTube-Rival Thing Again

If I were Jon Fine, I would be pissed right now…a story making round today, being passed off as an original, was actually broken by him two weeks ago in BusinessWeek (we picked it up then here).
This morning, TechCrunch had a note this morning which is getting much play, and then tonight, WSJ has a story, using their patented lame line: “according to people close to the situation”. Then the customary Reuters pickup, which laps up anything WSJ reports on.
Anyway, the story is about major media companies considering joining forces to launch a competitor to YouTube. WSJ has this one piece of added info: Walt Disney, owner of ABC, isn’t participating in the talks, because it wants to rely on the strength of its own brands.
Some more pieces of info:
— Such talks have been going on from earlier this year. Fox, CBS, NBC and Viacom, for instance, discussed a proposal from News Corp. that video content be hosted on MySpace. But CBS, NBC and Viacom weren’t willing to put their content on a News Corp.-owned outlet.
— All the media companies are weighing attractive offers from Google to pay them licensing fees for their videos to play on YouTube. Google has offered to pay fees of as much as $140 million over three years to Fox.
— News Corp., Viacom and NBC previously held discussions about filing a joint lawsuit against YouTube for copyright infringement.
Here’s my reaction to this two weeks ago: “I doubt it would ever happen…they may put their weight behind something such as Brightcove or Revver, but no one wants another NCN.” Coincidentally, Jeff Jarvis had the same metaphor in reaction to this.

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