Rumor mill Part 2: YouTube going head-to-head with pay-TV

With some 3,000 movie titles from a trio of Hollywood studios already in its library and an increasing amount of Internet-targeted content coming in over the transom, a good portion of it from professional content providers, it's no real surprise to hear that YouTube is back in Hollywood looking for more content.

This time around (this is, after all, at least the third time YouTube has been reported to be out scavenging content from Tinseltown) Variety is reporting the Google property is looking to spend $100 million on movies rights or on financing new productions.

"In the future, we hope you come to YouTube and there's a large selection of very interesting channels for you to hopefully like and want to come back to," Tom Pickett, YouTube's director of global operations who also is in charge of YouTube's made-for-Web programming. "We don't expect you will have to look at 500 channels, but 10 or 15 that are places you want to spend some time at over and over again."

It sounds suspiciously like yet another virtual-cable wannabe but with far more to offer than Microsoft, which also is rumored to be designing a similar offering, just using its Xbox franchise as the delivery portal.

And, if you think you remember YouTube being talked about as a potential pay-TV rival, you're right again.

In April, just a month after YouTube bought Web content creation specialist Next New Networks, reports surfaced saying Google was looking to spend up to $100 million to acquire original content designed to be delivered via the Internet but viewed in the living room, positioning the company to better take advantage of the continuing convergence of the Internet and traditional television.

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