WISH-TV launches YouTube channel

WISH-TV Channel 8 today launched a dedicated channel on the growing Internet site YouTube.com., which is owned by Google Inc. and has become the Web’s biggest video search engine.

WISH’s parent company, Rhode Island-based Lin TV Corp., made the same move for its stations in Grand Rapids, Mich.; New Haven, Conn.; and Providence, R.I.

Lin plans to have YouTube-dedicated sites for all of its 29 TV stations within a week. Lin officials said they will have advertisements on the YouTube sites in 2008.

Lin Vice President Rob Richter said the deal is one component of a larger agreement Lin has signed with Google Inc. Specifics of the Google deal will be released later, Richter said.

Richter thinks the YouTube deal will broaden the stations’ reach beyond its traditional broadcast area and help the dedicated sites land national sponsors.

“We think this is going to be a syndication model that will be very successful,” Richter said.

WISH officials said they intend to use the site to air news, weather, and feature and sports clips.

WISH is also promising to air original, local programming and user-generated content on the site.

“The partnership creates a major opportunity to engage viewers with Lin TV’s award-winning local video content and with new user-generated content on a robust interactive platform,” said Vincent L. Sadusky, Lin president and chief executive officer. Sadusky said the partnership is part of a broader plan to distribute content across new media platforms and offer local news, sports and entertainment programming to new audiences.

Founded in 2005, YouTube is visited by millions of Web users each week, and has been cited by several measurement firms as the most-visited site on the Internet.

In November 2006, within a year of its launch, YouTube was purchased by Google.

YouTube has struck numerous partnership deals with content providers such as CBS, BBC, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group, Warner Music Group, the NBA and The Sundance Channel, among others.

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