YouTube to launch "channels" with scheduled programming

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YouTube will soon be delivering more than a dozen "channels" that will provide regularly scheduled programming covering topics such as sports and fashion. Parent company Google is expected to finalize and launch the service early next year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Google was looking to spend $100 million to fund professionally produced video content exclusively for YouTube back in April. At the time it was rumored that there would be around 20 dedicated channels featuring five to 10 hours of new programming each week. This latest development likely solidifies those reports.

YouTube has reportedly asked for some of the content to be ready within the next two months, one would assume for beta testing or quality control purposes.

Sources say that Google wants to directly compete with television programming as well as other video service providers. The plan is to have programming air on a similar schedule like you would find on network or premium television channels.

Once initial investments have been replenished, YouTube will invite partners in for ad revenue sharing. There’s no word regarding if these channels would come as part of a paid membership or be made free for anyone to view.

Google was one of many names on the list for a potential acquisition of Hulu in August. At the time, it was believed that bidding could range from as little as $500 million up to $2 billion for the video streaming site. If Google was able to acquire Hulu and perhaps merge content with this new YouTube venture, online streaming could get much more interesting over the next several months.

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