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YouTube Posting Full Length MGM Films, TV Shows

YouTube has been working to define itself not just as a destination for home videos, but also the go-to site for professionally-created TV shows and movies.

Owned by Google,YouTube is announcing it's made a deal with MGM to show some of its TV shows and movies in their entirety.

Web surfers will be able to watch episodes of "American Gladiators" (the original one, not the one that aired on NBC this summer), movies including "The Magnificent Seven" and "Bulletproof Monk" as well as clips from the likes of popular "Legally Blonde." The clips will all be free, supported by ads on different "channels" on the YouTube platform.

MGM's announcement follows YouTube's ongoing partnership with CBS, which this moth started posting full-length episodes of some of its older shows, including the original "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Star Trek." And YouTube has also made partnerships with Lionsgate. These deals all play into YouTube's "VideoID" system that allows media companies to find unauthorized clips of their content, and either post ads on those clips or pull them down.

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YouTube is effectively making itself a competitor with Hulu, the year-old website that's a joint venture between News Corp and GE's NBC Universal. Hulu is designed to allow websurfers to easily navigate and watch professional content online. YouTube is even replicating Hulu's function that allows you to make the video screen full size and turn the rest of the web page black.

    • YouTube to post full-length MGM films

YouTube already has hundreds of millions of users. Now it's challenge is to convince the media companies what Hulu, the product of media companies already has: that it can protect and monetize professionally created content. And many advertisers want a guarantee that their messages will only be posted on that professional content, and not on the homemade videos that have defined YouTube until recently.

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

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  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.