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YouTube Announces TV Initiative With 100 Niche Channels

In a low-budget early effort to compete with satellite and cable TV providers, YouTube announced Friday that it has partnered with several entities to roll out television-style channels with professionally produced shows that will strike a sharp contrast to the short videos of crazy cats, skateboard wipeouts and other amateur content that made the site famous.
 
The online TV channels will be programmed by the likes of BermanBraun, FremantleMedia, Shine Group, The Wall Street Journal, pro skateboarder Tony Hawk and actors Ashton Kutcher and Amy Poehler.

STORY: YouTube to Add TV Channels With Premium Content From Hollywood Providers
 
Insiders said the Google-owned property has shelled out some $150 million in advances for the creation of about 100 channels, with a maximum $5 million going to any single channel. Financial details were sketchy on Friday, though The Wall Street Journal reported that deals call for YouTube recouping its advances then giving as much as 55 percent of the ad revenue to the content creators.

News of the bold initiaitve has been leaking piecemeal for months, but sources say YouTube will make the announcement official, including a list of some 100 partners, sometime Friday.
 
Other partners getting their own YouTube channels include World Wrestling Entertainment, Ben Silverman’s Electus, CSI creator Anthony Zuiker, Everyday Health, Iconic Entertainment and former NBA player Shaquille O'Neal. 

And the Journal says that Sofia Vergara of the ABC show Modern Family will be featured on a Hispanic channel.
 
YouTube is no stranger to premium content, as it has been allowing users to rent Hollywood feature films for several years, and insiders say the company is readying an initiative for renting traditional TV shows in a similar a la carte fashion. The channels announced Friday, though, are distinct from those efforts in part because their content is created exclusively for YouTube.

Most of the channels won't launch until next year. When they're up and running, they'll feature about 25 hours of new and original programming each day.
 
Google isn’t interested in making YouTube merely the best video site on the Internet - it’s already by far the most popular, attracting some 160 million unique users each month – but also a legitimate threat to traditional TV, insiders and analysts have said. It’s not a farfetched goal, given the advancements of Google TV, Apple TV and other technologies that put Internet video on TV screens. It's also a worthwhile goal, of course, given that the $60 billion TV advertising business in the U.S. is about 30 times larger than the video-ad market on the Internet.

YouTube's announcement will come after Yahoo and AOL recently unveiled pushes into premium video series with big-name talent like Mark Burnett.

Companies like YouTube, Yahoo and AOL "are increasing online video offerings to keep pace with or push further the evolution of media distribution," said Benchmark Capital analyst Clayton Moran.

"Video garners more user attention and greater advertising rates than traditional online content. The risk is that video also costs more to produce and much of the cost to creating original programming is up front," Moran said. "YouYube appears well-positioned with a strong brand and large user base."

Find a full list of content partners on the next page.

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Electus: Channel - Pop Culture (name TBD)

PMC: PMC Entertainment News

WWE: WWE

Young Hollywood: Young Hollywood Network

DanceOn : DanceOn (Madonna)

Fine Brothers Films: MyMusic

Everyday Health, Inc.: Everyday Health TV

TakePart™: TakePart™ TV

Digital Broadcasting Group (DBG): Spaces

Uncommon Content Partners: The Conversation Channel

Demand Media: eHow Home

SB Nation: SB Nation

Magical Elves and InStyle magazine: Little Black Dress

Hearst Magazines : Channel - Fashion & Beauty Channel (name TBD)

Emil Rensing International: Channel - Auto (name TBD)

My Damn Channel: My Damn Channel: Live

Uncommon Content Partners: Taste & Access

Red Bull Media House North America: Red Bull

Machinima: Machinima

Katalyst: Thrash Lab (Ashton Kutcher)

Steve Spangler Science: The Spangler Effect

New Nation Networks: New Nation Networks

Smart Girls at the Party: Smart Girls at the Party (Amy Poehler)

Bedrocket Media Ventures and Full Picture Productions: Look TV

BermanBraun: theLOGE

The Young Turks: Town Square

BermanBraun & Rodale Inc.: Vigor

Electus: NuevOn - Latin Channel (Sofia Vergara)

Clevver Media: ClevverStyle

ModernMom.com: ModernMom Channel

Brady Haran: DeepSkyVideos

IconicTV: 123UnoDosTres

The Wall Street Journal: The Wall Street Journal

Pharrell Williams : i am OTHER

SoulPancake Productions: SoulPancake (Rainn Wilson)

Chopra Media/Generate: The Chopra Well (Deepak Chopra)

Clevver Media: ClevverNews

The Bowery Presents: The Bowery Presents

Clevver Media: ClevverTeVe

Seedwell: American Hipster

Hearst Magazines : Car and Driver Television

Alchemy Networks: Alchemy Networks

CafeMom: CafeMom Studios

Bedrocket Media Ventures: Channel - Comedy (name TBD)

Demand Media: LIVESTRONG

Bedrocket Media Ventures: Channel - Action Sports (name TBD)

FremantleMedia: Channel - Pets & Animal (name TBD)

Big Frame: BAM

IconicTV: myISH

Electus: Channel - Food (name TBD)

Soccer United Marketing & Bedrocket: KickTV

Lionsgate: Lionsgate Fitness Channel

East of Center Productions LLC: YOMYOMF

EQAL: u look haute!

Philip Defranco: Sourcefed

Meredith Corporation and Meredith Video Studios: Digs

Vlogbrothers: CrashCourse

Walter Latham Digital: Walter Latham's "Kings of Comedy"

Tony Hawk's production company, 900 Films, Inc. : RIDE Channel

JON M. CHU: Channel - Dance (name TBD)

Vuguru & POW! Entertainment: Stan Lee's World of Heroes

FAWN by Michelle Phan: Fawn

DECA: KinCommunity

Source Interlink Media: Motor Trend

The Nerdist Channel: The Nerdist Channel

Comedy Shaq Network: The Comedy Shaq Network (Shaquille O’Neal)

Demand Media: eHow Pets & Animals

Brady Haran: numberphile

Cooking Up a Story: Food Farmer Earth

Bleacher Report: Bleacher Report

TED Conferences: TEDEducation

Intelligent Television: Intelligent Channel

Pitchfork: Pitchfork TV

Vlogbrothers: SciShow

EYEBOOGIE: POP SPOT

Roadside Entertainment/BAC: The NOC

Alli Sports: Alli Sports

The Onion: Onion Broadcasting Company

VICE: VICE

Smosh/Alloy Digital: Smosh Animation (name TBD)

VICE: Noisey

Knights of Good Productions: Geek & Sundry

Mondo Media: New Animators

BermanBraun & Rodale Inc.: Taste

Varsity Pictures: Awesomeness

Black Box TV: Black Box TV (Anthony Zuicker, founder of CSI)

IGN Entertainment / Shine Group: START

Brooklyn Films Digital: Jon Avnet/Rodrigo Garcia Scripted Content Channel (Untitled)

@radical.media: Channel - Education (name TBD)

Frederator Networks: Channel Frederator's Cartoon Hangover

monotransistor: werevertumorro

Thomson Reuters: Reuters.com

Slate: Slate News Channel

Maker Studios: The Maker Music Network

Maker Studios: The Moms' View

Maker Studios: Tutele

Noisey: VICE

Iconic Life and Times (Jay-Z)