Simpsons to air on Murdoch and NBC's new venture into online video

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Simpsons to air on Murdoch and NBC's new venture into online video

New site won't challenge mighty YouTube, say analysts.

Two of the largest TV networks in the US have teamed up to announce a new online video service that will feed content to some of the most popular sites on the internet.

News Corp. and NBC announced that they would be launching a joint online video venture which will offer both clips and full-length episodes of Fox and NBC TV shows.

The service will not focus on distributing video from a central site. Rather, content will be aimed at users through a network of already-popular web portals. Yahoo, MSN, and Myspace will be among the first sites to offer the videos.

Shows promised by the new service include The Simpsons, Saturday Night Live, 24, and The Tonight Show.

The companies hope that the service will catch on with users and at the same time prevent any legal issues over the content's copyrights. Especially Youtube has been struggling to filter out copyrighted materials that were posted without the owner's permission.

“Anyone who believes in the value of ubiquitous distribution will find this announcement incredibly exciting,” said Jeff Zucker, president and chief executive of NBC Universal.

“This venture supercharges our distribution of protected, quality content to fans everywhere. Consumers get a hugely attractive aggregation of a wide range of content, and marketers get a novel way to connect with a large and highly engaged audience.”

Analysts, however, say that the proposed "YouTube killer" will be anything but.

"It won’t challenge YouTube. YouTube is two parts social experience, one part video experience. That’s how it gets millions of viewers," Forrester Research vice president James McQuivey said on a company blog.

"But this site could draw traffic from NBC.com or Fox.com, as viewers learn to seek the show they like rather than the network that produces it. If other networks come on board it could become a significant online destination."

Networks have expressed growing frustration of YouTube and parent company Google's inability to keep pirated videos off of the site.

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