Google Hopes To Stream New TV On YouTube In Network Deal

Mountain View-based Google is said to currently be in the midst of negotiations with studios and TV networks to offer service that streams premier TV for $1.99 per episode, similar to Apple's iTunes service. If successful, YouTube would land a TV streaming deal sometime in 2010.

While YouTube already lets users watch a few select episodes of TV along with advertising, its plan is to offer first-run, original TV content for $1.99 an episode without any commercials, available the day after they air on broadcast or cable.

If the Google TV deal were to go through, however, users would essentially pay the same for a one-time viewing of a TV show on YouTube as they would to purchase TV content or music locally to their own systems for personal viewing on iTunes, which they could later view at their discretion. Meanwhile, iTunes content can also be used with an array of other Apple devices, such as the iPod, iPhones, and Apple TV as well as their Macs.

YouTube insists that its pricing model is still viable, arguing that most users who download an episode of TV only intend to watch it once, and maintains that users would be paying for the right to watch a new TV show free of commercials.

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In addition, Apple has also reportedly been negotiating with networks to provide a monthly subscription plan to deliver TV episodes via iTunes, said to be based on the existing iTunes desktop software, according to Apple Insider.

But it's not just iTunes that has YouTube worried as of late. In recent months YouTube has lost traffic while Hulu, the free TV site co-owned by New Corp's Fox, GE's NBC Universal and Disney's ABC, experienced a 50 percent traffic spike in October. Meanwhile, Hulu is also planning to launch a subscription service of its own, which will inevitably give the proposed YouTube TV deal another healthy dose of competition.