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Google, MTV Sign Ad-supported Online Video Deal

MTV's Laguna Beach and Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants will be coming soon to a website near you, thanks to a deal between Viacom and Google.

MTV parent Viacom and Google have agreed to offer video clips from popular shows on websites in Google's AdSense online advertising network, reports USA Today. The result will be a first-of-its-kind syndication network of 4-5-minute ad-supported clips of TV shows on the web; but, for now, the deal consists of a test, starting late August, open only to select AdSense publishers. Ad revenue will be shared among MTV, Google and the website publishers.

The deal signals a shift for MTV Networks, which has focused its online video efforts on its own branded broadband sites, such as MTV Overdrive, writes the Financial Times. As part of the deal, MTV Networks will also sell episodes of its programs through Google Video, as it does via AOL and iTunes.

Major broadcasters have been testing online distribution, mostly via iTunes and their own websites. This deal would tap into a vast online advertising network. "We have this large network of advertisers that presumably will grow very quickly," Google CEO Eric Schmidt is quoted by USA Today as saying.

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