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YouTube, Hearst-Argyle Agree Local TV Deal

Reuters
Monday, 4 Jun 2007 | 3:00 AM ET

YouTube said on Sunday it has reached a revenue-sharing deal with Hearst-Argyle Television whereby local TV stations will be paid when users of the video-sharing site watch their programming.

YouTube, a unit of Google , and Hearst-Argyle said in a statement that they will share advertising revenue on news, weather and entertainment videos from five TV stations -- the first time YouTube has paid for local TV programming.

Hearst-Argyle television stations in Boston, Manchester in New Hampshire, Sacramento, Pittsburgh and Baltimore will begin posting local video content to dedicated channels on YouTube.

YouTube will also distribute Hearst-Argyle's new digital video initiatives, including high school football, basketball and local amateur entertainment, the companies said.

Hearst-Argyle, which owns 29 local TV stations in the United States, will take an undisclosed cut of the advertising revenue YouTube earns when its users view clips, a spokesman said.

The New York-based company owns local affiliates of Walt Disney's ABC, GE's NBC, CBS and News Corp.'s MyNetworkTV broadcast TV networks. It reaches roughly 18% of U.S. households with televisions. (GE is the parent company of CNBC.)

Last week YouTube announced a video and music licensing deal with EMI.

Terms of this earlier deal allow YouTube users to not only watch and play authorized videos and recordings from EMI artists, but also to incorporate elements of these videos in YouTube users' own "user-generated content."

YouTube faces lawsuits from media owners including conglomerate Viacom and the English Football Association, which have accused YouTube of allowing its users to pirate their copyrighted works.

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