Just days after word leaked that Disney was in talks to join the Hulu online video service, the conglom's Disney/ABC TV Group and ESPN have sealed a separate deal with YouTube.
Under the pact, YouTube will launch several channels featuring shortform programming from both ESPN and Disney/ABC. Disney Media Networks will sell its own advertising inventory on the channels in a revenue-sharing arrangement with YouTube parent Google.
The deal serves the interests of both sides, as Google is looking to squeeze more revenue out of its Internet vid titan while Disney/ABC is looking for wider Web distribution of its exclusive program content. YouTube has a similar pact with CBS.
Talks to partner with NBC Universal and News Corp. on Hulu are ongoing and unrelated to the YouTube pact. Disney has said that it's looking to expand beyond its own media player and onto more ad-supported Web streaming platforms.
"This deal provides us with the opportunity to reach a broader online audience, to experiment with different monetization models and to extend the reach of our advertisers within branded environments that they most desire," said Disney Media Networks co-chair Anne Sweeney, who also serves as prexy of the Disney/ABC Television Group.