February 22, 2006 12:36 PM PST

TV catches the Net video bug

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new shows and concepts," said Tim Hanlon, senior vice president of Starcom Mediavest Group, a Chicago-based advertising agency.

In an increasingly fragmented media environment, content producers also need to invest more broadly to create "lots of little hits in different genres," said Adam Gerber, vice president of advertising products and strategy for Brightcove, an Internet TV services company. "They also have to have a way to invest more efficiently," he said.

USA Networks is looking to attract younger males to its cable network by broadcasting a show of shocking videos from the Web. In recent weeks, USA said that it plans to air a one-hour pilot, created by Fox Television Studios, based on eBaumsworld.com, a Web site of extreme videos submitted by users, according to the companies.

It's a coup for eBaumsworld's creator, Eric Bauman, who as a New York high school student in 1998 built the site to post secret audio tapes of teachers provoked into yelling. The show will feature similarly offbeat videos culled from the Web. It will also air interviews with nonprofessional video subjects who will be asked to account for their outlandish behavior.

USA plans to broadcast the first show in the fall of 2006 and pair it with its late-night World Wrestling Entertainment program.

In recent weeks, ABC News also introduced an online service devoted to collecting viewers' video that's been captured by multimedia-equipped cell phones. ABC collects and edits video from the online service, which is called "Seen and Heard in America," so that it can incorporate it regularly into shows like "World News Tonight" and "Good Morning America."

To be sure, some TV networks have been melding the Web with their programming more and more in recent years. Various TV programs, like "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," have encouraged viewers to answer polls or vote online, for example. ABC News had already tested the use of user-generated video within various news shows, including those that featured coverage of Hurricane Katrina, and proved that the model worked for a full launch.

What's different now is that networks are taking advantage of the popularity and ease of viewer-generated video for their own shows.

"We're always looking to put our fingers on the pulse of what's going on in pop culture," said Bravo's Cohen. "This was the next natural step."

Other video clips on Bravo's show included the popular East coast rap spoof on "Chronicles of Narnia" first aired on "Saturday Night Live."

Cohen said Bravo's legal department vets the narrated show to obtain the proper licenses from video creators so that the network has rights to air clips. Though it's doubtful anyone is getting rich from the permissions, nonprofessionals may be paid for their work in some cases, he said.

"We are in a major hunting expedition," Cohen said. "I just e-mailed the producer two new videos this morning."

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Similar to VH1's 'Web Junk 20'?
VH1 has a new show called 'Web Junk 20' where they show the top 20 video clips found on the web that week, in conjuction with IFILM. It wasn't mentioned in the article so I was wondering if that's the kind of show you were alluding to?
Posted by minibritz (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Who owns the copyright?
The same companies wanting to exploit free content from the web are the ones who actively pursue people for violating copyright law.
Does a free clip they use now become copyrighted once they show it? This format will get very messy, very quickly, with the big corporations ultimately winning yet again.
Posted by Pete Saman (99 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"Does a free clip they use now become copyrighted once they show it?" -- Of course not. The copyright always lies with the creator.
Posted by Anonymous1234567890 (53 comments )
Link Flag
TV catches the Net video bug
Just one quote by Stefanie Olsen "Emerging services from Google,
Brightcove and others are delivering the tools to upload, circulate
or even sell video online"

How does she write this whole article and not mention Apple one

Posted by mozart11 (30 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The End of Big Media
It's amazing to see how TV and the Web are starting to dance together. It won't be long before these independent production companies start producing content just for web delivery, and sign up advertisers on their own. Skip the broadcast networks, reach your audience directly - and get paid what you deserve! Sounds like a plan to me.
Posted by Joshcava (2 comments )
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