What's on YouTube tonight?
Quite a bit of TV actually. On Tuesday, the Google subsidiary introduced YouTube TV with about 40 networks onboard to stream their live broadcasts and cable feeds to its subscribers.
The service shows that Google has been able to make nice with much of the entertainment industry. Like others in Silicon Valley, YouTube has had a love-hate relationship with the media world, which has been wary of technology devaluing their content. Since its inception, YouTube in particular has had copyright issues with the TV and movies studios and music labels.
But these types of deals are always complex, especially when it comes to sports. For instance, Sunday football games will stream to YouTube TV -- but not in mobile devices because Verizon owns mobile rights to National Football League games.
And some significant TV programmers are not part of YouTube TV. Viacom, whose networks include MTV and Nickelodeon, and Time Warner, parent of TNT and CNN, are both absent.
YouTube and participating TV networks will both sell ad inventory and share the revenue, according to the company, but the revenue split was not publicly disclosed.
YouTube TV was built like a mobile app, making it easy to search for and stream all the content on phones. There also is a digital recording feature with unlimited storage, which works just like a DVR through a cable provider.
The service looks like a mix of YouTube, Hulu and live TV.
YouTube also is competing to some degree with Facebook and Twitter, which have TV apps but not as many content deals.