YouTube set to go mobile
Verizon deal sends video to phonesGoogle-owned YouTube is expected to announce a deal today with Verizon Wireless that will put viral videos on mobile phones.
In addition, Verizon has inked a separate deal with ABC to air a shortform spinoff of the primetime hit "Ugly Betty."
The exclusive partnership between the popular online community and national mobile carrier will not only distribute YouTube videos to wireless handsets, but also facilitate the uploading of footage shot via camera phone.
A spokesman for Verizon, a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group, confirmed the announcement.
Beginning next month, YouTube will become a commercial-free branded channel on Verizon's VCast service, which charges subscribers $15 per month to access content partners including ESPN, CNN, E! and MTV.
Verizon handsets equipped with cameras also will be able to upload video that will be accessible on YouTube.com.
VCast also will be home to a mini-telenovela inspired by "Betty" called "Vidas de Fuego," or "Lives of Fire," that is featured on the series. "Fuego" also will be available on ABC.com beginning today. Its VCast debut will be Thursday.
" 'Vidas de Fuego' is a perfect example of how we're utilizing unique content across digital platforms," ABC Entertainment senior vp business development Bruce Gersh said. "Extending this original mini-telenovela online and on mobile offers our loyal fans another way to connect and interact with their favorite ABC program."
"Fuego," which is set at a wealthy cattle ranch riven by a family feud, stars established telenovela stars including Marlene Favela, Sebastian Rulli and Ninel Conde.