Fox, Viacom, CBS and NBC Universal are in talks about creating a video Web site to compete with Google's YouTube, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
While a deal is still far off, the four media companies envision a jointly owned site that would be the primary Web source for videos from their television networks, the paper said in an online report on wsj.com, citing people close to the situation.
The companies aim to cash in on the fast-growing market of Web video advertising and have also discussed building a Web video player that could play clips, the Journal said.
In less than two years, YouTube has grown from a Silicon Valley start-up to the most popular online video-sharing site that boasts more than 100 million daily views. It was acquired by Google in November for $1.65 billion in stock.
Many videos on YouTube are homemade clips uploaded by users but some of the most popular content is pirated TV shows. Some media companies have threatened to sue YouTube for copyright infringement while others, including CBS and NBC, have struck licensing deals with the site.
The Journal said the four media companies have been discussing a YouTube rival since the start of the year, but the latest round of talks could still founder.
Walt Disney Co. , owner of the ABC television network, is not joining in the talks, because it wants to rely on the strength of its own brands, the paper said.