YouTube in deal to offer local television programming

Hearst-Argyle pact is first between YouTube and independent TV company

US-based Hearst-Argyle Television and YouTube Monday announced a joint effort to add news, weather and entertainment videos and original Hearst television programming in five local markets to YouTube.

Beginning Monday, Hearst TV stations in Boston, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Manchester, N.H., will begin posting local video to dedicated YouTube channels.

The deal marks the first distribution agreement between Google subsidiary YouTube and an independent television broadcaster, according to YouTube and Hearst. YouTube last week announced a deal with EMI Group to begin showing music videos and performances on the site.

"We're constantly looking at innovative ways to not only bring the YouTube community the best content out there, but also to find ways to bring them the most relevant programming," said Jordan Hoffner, head of premium content partnerships for YouTube, in a statement. "Local creates relevance, and this agreement will ultimately deliver Hearst-Argyle's programming to an even broader audience looking for local content."

For Hearst's part, the deal fits within its overall strategy to distribute its content on TV, the Internet and mobile phones, said Executive Vice President Terry Mackin.

As part of the deal, Hearst will also use YouTube as part of its new digital video project and will broadcast high school football and basketball and local amateur entertainment on YouTube.

Web sites operated by Hearst television stations nationwide generate 1 billion page views each year and provide Wireless Application Protocol content, podcasts, Web-based newscasts, Web videos and blogs in various markets.

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Heather Havenstein

Computerworld
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