YouTube in talks with Viacom

November 1, 2006

After the news at the weekend that YouTube had taken down all Comedy Central clips following a letter from Viacom lawyers asking them to remove clips of shows such as Daily Show, Colbert Report and South Park. YouTube complied and removed the clips very quickly.

As of yesterday there are now some clips back up on YouTube and the word is that YouTube and Viacom are in talks around a licensing deal (similar to the deals with CBS and NBC). I’d expect them to stirke a deal pretty quickly to lock in this good content!

The main question arising out of this is whether other video sharing sites will also be able to sign deals with Viacom and others, or whether YouTube will have exclusive rights to display this content on the web? If these deals turn out to be exclusive then YouTube has already got rights to some of the top content creators out there. That possibility makes it very difficult to see how anyone else could compete in this space.


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