NBC Makes Nice with YouTube

They say you hurt the ones you love, but can you also learn to love the ones you hurt?

YouTube and NBC may provide an answer to that question as the two companies enter a promotional tie-up a few short months after NBC served the video site with takedown orders over its now-infamous “Saturday Night Live” sketch, “Lazy Sunday” (aka “Chronic — what? — cles of Narnia!).”

Under terms of the new agreement, YouTube will promote NBC’s Fall programs and other shows for one year. The video aggregator will host an official NBC Channel with exclusive clips and long-form promos for “The Office,” SNL and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” among others. And an NBC-run contest on YouTube will let users submit their own 20-second promo videos for “The Office.” NBC will promote the effort on-air, and winners’ videos will appear on NBC and on the show’s official Web site. The contest runs through July 21.

Many in the blogosphere ridiculed NBC for its nastygram to YouTube over “Lazy Sunday” and another SNL video, accusing the network of lashing out at a Web site that had done it a huge favor by providing SNL sudden visibility among the coveted demographic of younger viewers.

It would appear NBC’s copyright concerns haven’t abated. Clear creative control of the videos is baked in to the deal. In a statement, NBC “applauded” YouTube for its “continued willingness to work with us to remove any unauthorized NBC content and protect our copyrighted material.”

“The YouTube and NBC partnership symbolizes what can happen when traditional media companies and new media companies find common ground,” said John Miller, CMO for NBC Universal Television Group. “YouTube is the perfect online media partner to promote NBC’s marquee entertainment to their audience and explore new and creative ways to harness the power of viral video in a manner that respects copyrights.”

The agreement is consistent with YouTube’s strategy of partnering with content owners who want to promote their shows, movies and other video material. Earlier this year, the company struck a deal with Deep Focus to promote movie trailers and other promos in its “Featured” videos section.

“We are delighted to work with NBC on an official basis,” said Chad Hurley, YouTube co-founder and CEO, also in a statement. “Bringing more entertaining and exclusive content to YouTube helps further our goal of providing the best video entertainment experience on the Internet.”

YouTube visitors view nearly 70 million videos a day, according to the company.

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