WSJ reports Google is in the midst of finishing negotiations with media companies that would see the YouTube investing $100 million to fund original TV quality content. That content would debut on “dozens of free channels with professional-grade shows” expected to launch sometime in 2012. The report also mentions deals with celebrities such as Tony Hawk.
“YouTube, the world’s largest video site, is putting up more than $100 million in cash advances to get some of the content produced, said the people. YouTube will recoup the funds from advertising revenue it sells against the content, later splitting ad revenue with the partners, these people said. YouTube hopes the new channels, which are expected to roll out sometime next year, will draw in big money from advertisers, they said.”
Some of the companies said to be in talks with Google include Warner Bros., News Corp.’s ShineReveille (Ugly Betty, The Office), RTL Group’s FremantleMedia Ltd. (The X Factor, The Price is Right), Anthony Zuiker (CSI creator), and a number of other companies that produce programs for channels like HGTV, Discovery, and VH1. Of course Google plans on making its money back in ad revenue.
We’re not sure how this will play into their plans to spend $100-$200 million on premium Hollywood content.