AOL Video Teams With MTV Networks

America Online and Viacom's MTV Networks announced a partnership on Monday to make MTV's extensive programming content searchable through AOL Video Search. The deal includes all shows from Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and TV Land, among others. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

AOL sees its broad array of video content partners, including those owned by parent company Time Warner, as critical to its efforts to compete against Yahoo! and Google for dominance in online video search distribution.

AOL reached a distribution deal with another Viacom property, CBS Digital Media, in early November. At the time, Betsy Lake Morgan, senior vice president of CBS Digital Media and general manager of CBSNews.com, indicated to OnlineMediaDaily that America Online was paying CBS for its syndicated content. "Financially, they made the deal very attractive for us," she said at the time. (Lewis D'Vorkin, vice president and editor in chief of AOL News and Sports, would not comment on the financial terms of the deal.)

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MTV Networks' other properties being added to AOL's video index include CMT, Logo, MTV2, mtvU, The N, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., Nicktoons, Noggin, Spike, and VH1.

The new video RSS feeds will be accessible to users through AOL's video search engine, AOL Search, as well as through its Singingfish search property.

AOL Video, the company's video-on-demand service, which was launched over the summer, allows subscribers as well as non-subscribers to search and play back over 15,000 licensed and originally produced videos from Time Warner--including TV programs and music videos, Warner Bros. movie trailers, and news clips from CNN and MSNBC, among other sources.

AOL plays back the content in a proprietary video player, but visitors don't have to download an application.

The technology for AOL Video includes speech-to-text processing that enables not only searches by title, description, and artist, but also searches for keywords within the body of video. The technology combines internal software developed by AOL and Singingfish, which specializes in scouring the Web for video and audio content and then pointing visitors to sites where they can play back the media.

Separately, AOL on Monday announced a content syndication and distribution deal with Rivals.com, the college and high school sports network. AOL Sports users will soon have access to audio and video news and game footage from Rivals' network of over 150 college and high school sports sites.

Under the agreement--financial terms of which were not disclosed--AOL will feature video and editorial content, including weekly team, player, and recruiting rankings, game previews, and recaps. There will also be weekly in-season national features for high school sports teams. A number of daily videos focusing on teams, players, and recruiting will also be featured on the site, and will provide insight into college and high school sports.

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