Channel 4 signs deal with YouTube

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The Independent Online

Channel 4 has signed a pioneering deal with video-sharing site YouTube to make hundreds of its homegrown shows available on demand.

In a world first, the broadcaster's original, commissioned programmes will be added to the site in the coming months, plus 3,000 hours of archived shows.

Programmes will be seen in full and free-of-charge, but the service will be supported by advertising.

Channel 4 will make its 4oD "catch-up" service of new programmes available on YouTube shortly after broadcast, including hits such as Skins, Hollyoaks, The Inbetweeners and Peep Show.

In addition, YouTube users will be able to see archive material from shows such as Brass Eye, Derren Brown, Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares and Teachers. The deal will not include imported series.

It is the first time a broadcaster has made its "catch-up" schedule available on YouTube, which has more than a billion views per day globally, although the Channel 4 service will be restricted to the UK.

Although the financial terms are being kept secret, the deal will run for at least three years with the broadcaster and YouTube both sharing advertising revenue. The service will be full available in early 2010.

Channel 4 chief executive Andy Duncan said: "Channel 4 was the first broadcaster anywhere in the world to make all its commissioned content available online and we've consistently pioneered in this field.

"This strategic partnership is another important milestone for us and we're delighted to be combining the power of the '4' brand and the appeal of our content with YouTube's unrivalled reach and reputation online."

Nikesh Arora, the president of global sales operations and business development for YouTube's owner Google, said: "This significant new agreement brings Channel 4's great full-length content to the YouTube community, helping Channel 4 grow its online revenues and to continue to invest in the creation of high-quality original content."