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RealTime IT News

March Madness Strikes YouTube

This is the kind of March Madness Google-owned YouTube prefers.

The video-sharing site and its search-giant parent, along with CBS Sports, the NCAA and Pontiac, today launched a CBS Sports NCAA Tournament channel.

As part of the deal, the YouTube channel will feature NCAA game clips and highlights uploaded in near real time, the company said. Users will also be able to comment, rate and recommend NCAA tournament clips to friends, as well post their own video responses to communicate with other viewers.

"Through this agreement, CBS is monetizing its content on the Internet and proving that world-class programming can help bring brand-name advertisers to online platforms," CBS Sports and News president Sean McManus said in a statement.

Viacom and CBS formed a single corporation in 1999. But in June 2005, Viacom's board of directors created two separate publicly traded companies through a spin-off to Viacom stockholders.

Viacom, which includes media properties such as MTV Networks, BET, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Home Entertainment and Famous Music, demanded YouTube take down 100,000 clips, including content from MTV, Comedy Central and other networks. That move followed what the media company felt was frustrating distribution negotiations.

Following that, Viacom filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeking more than $1 billion in damages, as well as an injunction prohibiting Google and YouTube from further copyright infringement.

Google's response has been to point toward deals like today's with CBS.

"We've been very successful forging thousands of successful partnerships with content owners -- like Warner Music, Sony/BMG, Universal Music, BBC, and the NBA -- interested in finding new audiences for their programming," Google general counsel Kent Walker said in an e-mail to internetnews.com.