Google moves closer to YouTube deal

The New York Times reports that Google could announce a deal to buy video-sharing site YouTube as early as today.

Meanwhile, YouTube struck deals with CBS and two major music labels Monday, in a significant step that proves it has consoled content providers that it is not ripping off their content — and a sign YouTube can avoid lawsuits that would scare away potential suitors like Google.

(Update: And now Google says it has signed a distribution deal with Sony BMG and Warner Music Group Corp. to offer music videos. Ok, so now we must be getting very close to hearing about a Google purchase of YouTube!)

Here’s the YouTube news, according to AP:

The separate agreements with CBS, Vivendi’s Universal Music Group and Sony BMG Music Entertainment come less than a month after YouTube reached a deal with Warner Music Group Corp.

CBS Corp. said it will provide short-form video content for a CBS “brand channel” on YouTube’s site starting this month. It will include news, sports, Showtime and prime-time programming. Among the offerings CBS said it plans to offer are short clips from top programs including “Survivor,” as well as mini-previews for new fall shows. YouTube and CBS will share revenue from advertising sponsorships of CBS Videos, CBS said.

As arranged for in the earlier deal Warner signed with YouTube, CBS will test new YouTube technology that will help the network find copyrighted content on YouTube and remove it.

CBS will also be allowed to leave that content on the site, and share revenue from advertising that appears next to the copyrighted video.

Meanwhile, here is the NYT, on the Google-YouTube talks:

After marathon negotiations over the weekend, Google could announce a deal to buy YouTube.com, the popular video-sharing Web site, for about $1.6 billion as early as Monday afternoon, people involved in the talks said.

Barring a last-minute snag in the talks, the boards of both Google and YouTube were scheduled to hold separate board meetings on Monday to approve the deal, with an announcement possible after the close of regular trading. Discussions could still break down, however, or another party could present a more-attractive offer.