Within months, the Google unit will start offering full-length, time-delayed TV shows and archived hits from the British broadcaster
Channel Four Television has signed a deal with YouTube to bring its flagship shows to the video-sharing site.
The agreement will see programming from Channel 4's catch up service, 4oD, made available for free through YouTube, a unit of Google (GOOG).
The broadcaster's best-known shows such as Skins, Hollyoaks, The Inbetweeners and Peep Show will all feature on YouTube, along with around 3,000 hours of full-length programming such as Teachers and Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares from the Channel 4 archive.
The first Channel 4 content will begin appearing on YouTube in the coming months—shortly after the programmes appear on TV—with a full service available by early 2010.
The partnership will initially run for three years and the two parties will share advertising revenues.
Under the terms of the deal, Channel 4 will have a branded presence on YouTube and will be able to sell advertising around its own content, as well as around some non-Channel 4 content on the site.
The broadcaster hopes that syndicating its programmes on a non-exclusive basis will help 4oD to expand its market share.
"Syndication deals are key to Channel 4's strategy for monetising on-demand audiences," said a spokeswoman for Channel 4. "YouTube…already has 20 million users in the UK and we believe it is certain to be a major player in the UK [video on demand] market."
While the Channel 4 deal may be the first time a broadcaster has put its catch-up service on YouTube, it seems unlikely to be the last. "We look forward to other similar agreements to come," YouTube's director of partnerships Patrick Walker said in a statement.
Channel 4's original programmes are already available over the internet via its own on-demand 4oD platform, which it launched at the end of 2006. According to the broadcaster, the 4oD platform had more than 10 million views of long form content in September—a year-on-year increase of 204 per cent.