BroadbandTV signs FremantleMedia to YouTube content management deal

BroadbandTV, the third-largest player in the YouTube-based multichannel network (MCN) space, signed a deal with FremantleMedia to manage fan-uploaded content related to its TV series, including "American Idol," "The X Factor" and others.

A company that has worked somewhat quietly in the background handling content rights management for a number of major broadcasters, distributors and sports leagues including the NBA and A&E Networks, BroadbandTV is continuing to gain ground with content producers--not just major corporate players trying to control their brand online, but smaller entities and individuals trying to get noticed on the massive YouTube playground, through its VISO multichannel network.

Specifics of the FremantleMedia agreement were not provided, but Lewis Ball, EVP of professional services for BroadbandTV, told FierceOnlineVideo that the companies "are working on a revenue share basis and it's a very sizeable deal."

It may be BroadbandTV's biggest deal yet. "FremantleMedia currently achieves 72 million monthly unique users on YouTube worldwide making it the most watched of any TV network or movie studio in the world," Ball said.

FremantleMedia SVP of Digital Olivier Delfosse told TheWrap's Lucas Shaw that "there has already been an immediate upswing in revenue" since implementing BroadbandTV services three weeks ago. The deal was publicly announced on April 23.

The company will use its VISO NOVI platform to detect and manage fan-uploaded content related to FremantleMedia properties.

BroadbandTV's rights management service is able to offer copyright infringers various options. While its clients can authorize it to simply detect and report an infringer to YouTube and have the content in question removed or blocked, BroadbandTV also can place advertising on the content, rather than take it down, and have all revenues from that advertising filter back to the content owner.

Content producers have battled Internet users posting clips or full versions of movies and TV shows for several years. But their initial approach--get offending videos taken down and then attempt to sue the pants off everyone involved--worked about as well as the music industry's offensive against file-sharing teens and their grandmas. New ways to manage fan-uploaded or fan-produced content are evolving, changing the traditional enforcement model.

In March, Viacom and Google settled a drawn-out, billion-dollar copyright infringement suit involving YouTube. No money reportedly changed hands, signaling that a new content enforcement model--Google's ContentID program, along with a recently revealed, controversial "super-flagger" initiative--may be working acceptably for Viacom, along with, perhaps, a revenue model agreed upon by both parties.

That evolving online business model was a likely attractor for FremantleMedia in signing the deal. "The viewer path has fundamentally evolved, we remain committed to producing fantastic content in formats that support the business and effectively serve our fans," said CEO Cécile Frot-Coutaz in a prepared statement.

For more:
- see this press release
- TheWrap has this story

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