CNET joins online video venture

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NEW YORK -- NBC Universal and News Corp. announced Tuesday that CNET Networks, Inc. has joined their online video joint venture set to launch this summer.

CNET--which owns TV.com, GameSpot CNET.com, Download.com, MP3.com and other properties--will provide their clips to the unnamed initiative on a non-exclusive basis and they will also distribute the new site's licensed content through their network.

"CNET Networks has long understood the value of creating richer, more authentic experiences online," said George Kliavkoff, chief digital officer at NBCU and interim CEO of the joint venture. "We are delighted that they will be joining us as both a content provider and distributor."

CNET is the second non-exclusive content provider to reach an agreement with the joint venture, joining Comcast Corp., which signed up last month and will provide content from their E!, Style, G4, Versus and Golf Channel brands.

Founded in 1992, CNET owns a wide range of Internet properties encompassing gaming, entertainment, technology, business and food categories. Called a "pioneering online media company" by Kliavkoff, the network had 129 million unique visitors in March according to comScore Media Metrix.

"CNET Networks is proud to be the first online-focused content company to offer its original video to this new venture," said CNET CEO Neil Ashe. "This relationship further demonstrates our commitment to creating an engaging online experience at our market-leading brands."

Announced in March, the joint venture will make NBC, News and other video content available through a new portal as well as Time Warner's AOL, Microsoft's MSN, News' MySpace, Yahoo Inc. and Comcast. It is designed to rival Google Inc.'s YouTube property, which has come under scrutiny for copyright issues.

NBCU submitted a friend of court brief opposing YouTube on Monday, siding with Viacom in their $1 billion piracy lawsuit against the video sharing site.
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