YouTube Close to Announcing Video “Channels”

Google Inc.’s YouTube is expected to announce as early as next week that it has signed a slew of partnerships with media companies and well-known personalities to produce original content for the popular video website, said people familiar with the matter.

Among the expected partners are major media companies such as IAC/InterActiveCorp.’s Electus, News Corp.’s ShineReveille unit, RTL Group’s FremantleMedia Ltd., as well as skateboarding legend Tony Hawk and “CSI” creator Anthony Zuiker, other people familiar with the matter have said. (News Corp. owns The Wall Street Journal.)

Several other partners for YouTube’s new initiative, which is trying to upend the way entertainment is created, already create popular content on the video site, people familiar with the matter said. Those include Machinima Inc., which creates content for young men.

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