Channel 4 CEO Andy Duncan is now squarely, if unusually, backing ITV (LSE: ITV) chief Michael Grade’s recent claim that Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is a “parasite“. A miffed Duncan told Broadcast: “Google takes more ad revenue out of the UK than ITV makes and it is not regulated. It isn’t fair that it’s not reinvesting that back into content and independent film production companies in the UK.”
Duncan’s outfit has complained for the last couple of years of a £100 million funding gap, partly through its own ad downturn, that’s seriously threatening some C4 activities ahead of Ofcom’s upcoming ruling on the future of UK public service broadcasting. Duncan: “Google should pay for content that it uses. The burden of responsibility should be on it to identify the people whose content it is using and make sure they are being paid for it, rather than expecting other people to point it out.”
GooTube’s stock response is that it works hard with TV partners to formalise ways of working together, helping them distribute their content and stamp out piracy. I was front row for YouTube CEO Chad Hurley’s keynote to Mipcom earlier this month, a blatant pitch to TV owners to join the 900+ other TV partnerships YouTube enjoys. But, with growing disgruntlement from ITV and now C4 adding to lawsuits from the likes of TF1, Mediaset, Telecinco and Premier League, it’s clear not everyone in the TV biz is yet convinced of YouTube’s model.