MySpace in distribution talks with other media


NEW YORK - News Corp.'s MySpace is in "very active" discussions with other media companies to distribute video not owned by Rupert Murdoch's company, the head of its Internet division said Wednesday.

MySpace, the Internet's biggest social network, currently offers episodes of News Corp.'s Fox-owned shows a day after the initial broadcast, but not much from other companies.

"We're in very active negotiations with all the media companies to create the most robust video offering on the Web," Peter Levinsohn, president of Fox Interactive Media, said at the Bear Stearns media conference.

Media companies are trying to reach viewers who increasingly split their leisure time watching television, surfing the Internet and playing video games.

Although nearly every major media company has been negotiating to put video clips on Google Inc.'s YouTube -- the Internet's top online video service -- few have made distribution deals.

These negotiations became public after MTV Networks-owners Viacom Inc. demanded the removal of more than 100,000 of its clips from YouTube, citing lax anti-piracy controls.

At the same time, media companies, including News Corp., General Electric's NBC Universal and Viacom have considered starting a rival service.

Asked about the so-called "YouTube-Killer" service, Levinsohn said: "We certainly aren't describing it as such. If they do, MySpace will be a huge beneficiary of that."

Levinsohn said Fox Interactive Media was on track to generate $500 million in revenue by the end of fiscal 2007, ending June 30, 2007.

Separately, DirecTV Group Inc. executive vice president of programming Dan Fawcett was named president of Fox digital media, a position held by Levinsohn before he joined the Internet division of News Corp.