BBC branches out with YouTube

LONDON (Hollywood Reporter) - The BBC has signed a major deal with Google to launch three branded channels on YouTube.

They will feature clips from the British public broadcaster’s entertainment shows as well as advertising-funded news from the BBC’s global outlets.

The nonexclusive partnership opens the way for the BBC to extend its content across other broadband portals and is the company's biggest commitment to any portal outside its own site. It will not cover any longform programming but will allow users to link through to the BBC's own Web portal if they want to download BBC content.

Under the agreement, fans of such BBC shows as “Life on Mars,” “Doctor Who” and “Torchwood” will be able to watch clips and specially commissioned content relating to BBC shows on two branded channels on YouTube, with search service provided by Google.

Under a separate agreement with BBC Worldwide, archival clips of such shows as “Top Gear,” “Spooks” and “The Mighty Boosh” also will be available on an advertising-funded basis, alongside an advertising-supported news clips service.

Users will be able to comment on clips, rate them, recommend them to friends and post their own video responses to communicate with viewers and the BBC. YouTube will act as a shop window that will allow users to link to the BBC’s own interactive media player for on-demand content.

The move is part of a number of BBC initiatives aimed at allowing content to be accessed by the maximum number of users across all digital platforms.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter