YouTube to screen Channel 4 shows

Programs to be available in full and for free in the U.K.

LONDON -- YouTube and Britain's Channel 4 said Thursday they had signed a "pioneering long-form content deal" to put all Channel's on-demand catch up shows on YouTube shortly after transmission, the first time any broadcaster in the world has made its comprehensive catch-up content freely available on the Google-owned video platform.

Under the terms of the strategic partnership, Channel 4 will make its video-on-demand catch-up service available via YouTube shortly after television transmission, including such shows as "Skins," "Hollyoaks," "The Inbetweeners" and "Peep Show."

YouTube users will also be able to access around 3,000 hours of full-length programming from the Channel 4 archive, including shows like "Brass Eye," "Derren Brown," "Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares," and "Teachers.

Content will begin appearing in the coming months and be fully available in early 2010. All programs will be available only in the U.K., free-of-charge supported by advertising.

Financial terms of the advertising-share deal were not disclosed, but the partnership will run initially for a three-year period and the two parties will share advertising revenues on an agreed formula.

The deal is expected to will create "significant value" for Channel 4 and its independent production partners, generating additional revenue to invest in creating high quality, original content.

The two companies will also continue to co-operate on additional monetization opportunities as new technology evolves.

The deal builds significantly on Channel 4 and YouTube's existing relationship, under which Channel 4 was the first broadcaster to sell pre-roll advertisements on YouTube clips and to incorporate an offline sponsor into an online YouTube package around its hit show "Big Brother."

"Channel 4 have been visionary in their online strategy and are consistently at the forefront of new uses of YouTube to engage their viewers and unlock new revenue streams," said Nikesh Arora, president, global sales operations and business development for Google.

"This significant new agreement brings Channel 4's great full-length content to the YouTube community, helping Channel 4 to grow their online revenues and to continue to invest in the creation of high quality original content."

Outgoing Channe 4 chief executive Andy Duncan said the deal was further evidence of Channel 4's pioneering online development.

"Making our programs directly accessible to YouTube's 20 million U.K. users will financially benefit both Channel 4 and our independent production partners and help bolster our investment in quality British content," said Duncan.

"It demonstrates our ability to strike dynamic commercial partnerships to help underpin our future as a commercially funded, not-for-profit multi-platform public service network," he added.