Google unveils video service deal

Company inks pact with Media Rights Capital

Google has announced one of the first deals in its ambitious video-syndication service.

Company has inked a pact with film-financier Media Rights Capital under which “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane and Disney Channel star Raven-Symone will create original content that Google will syndicate across the Web.

MRC has made the talent deals and is funding the content; Google will distribute the content, which will be embedded on Web sites as free, ad-supported streams. Google and MRC will share in ad revenue.

Projects will involve a set of videos for MacFarlane, who will create about fifty digital shorts centered on non-“Family Guy” characters, some of whom will recur.

Symone will create how-to content in areas such as cooking and crafts; execs described it “Martha Stewart for teens and tweens.

Videos will be syndicated to sites that fit the creators’ demos.

Deal offers an example of how new media cos and content providers can take advantage of online-video opportunities while staying within their areas of expertise.

While portals like Yahoo have begun creating original content, and traditional entertainment congloms like News Corp. and NBC are trying to jump into the online syndication biz, Google-MRC pact allows each party to handle only one side of the equation.

MRC digital prexy Dan Goodman said that while the deal does require that the two share revenue, Google’s reach made a partnership essential. “We can produce great content but if we can’t deliver big audiences out of the gate then it’s going to be a huge challenge.”

Google Video initially had significant plans to launch a syndicated video service as parts of its AdSense Network. But those plans received a setback when a deal with Viacom cable nets was scotched in the wake of the conglom’s lawsuit against Google-YouTube.

MRC is known best for financing pics like “Babel” and other traditional media but is beginning to increase its original content online. “We’re looking at this as a business-model, not as a pilot,” Goodman said of the deal.

Company is expected to announce other original-content pacts with Web syndicators in the coming months.

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