Fox/NBC “Challenge” YouTube?

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The weasels that work at network TV think this is all about chasing after the audience that fled broadcast television for the Internet.

Fox parent News Corp. and NBC Universal said Thursday they will launch a free online video site this summer, featuring full-length movies and television shows in a challenge to Google Inc.’s YouTube.
I'm...underwhelmed.

First off, this isn't a "challenge" to YouTube. If anything it is a "challenge" to whoever is in the business of providing one-way broadcast/cable TV content over the Internet.

I don't know who that is -- but I know who it ain't: YouTube.

The audience at YouTube downloads video AND uploads it too. From their desktops. From their cellphones. From their laptops. Not only that -- it's a social medium much more than it is an advertising medium (which is what broadcast TV is). YouTube is bottom-up video; it is point-to-point video.

Not so this new venture -- it is top-down all the way.

“This is a game changer for Internet video,” News Corp. Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin said in a statement. “We’ll have access to just about the entire U.S. Internet audience at launch. And for the first time, consumers will get what they want — professionally produced video delivered on the sites where they live,” he said.
Consumers want that? Really? I'm skeptical.

It's all the way down in the eighth 'graf before you get to the nut:

The Internet video market is key to the future of media and will be vast enough to accommodate competition, analysts said. But one missing element they noted is the ability for users to upload their own videos — a function that has made YouTube so popular with the younger audience.
You think?
NBC and News Corp. sought to woo additional media companies into its partnership, including Viacom and CBS Corp., which are both controlled by Sumner Redstone, according to people familiar with the matter.

Viacom said it welcomed the new venture as a vehicle for spreading entertainment online while protecting copyright holders.

"Spreading entertainment..." Right -- that's what you do with manure.

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