YouTube streams TV Asahi, TBS

Kyodo News

U.S. search engine giant Google Inc. said Tuesday it has concluded license agreements with commercial broadcasters TV Asahi and TBS to stream their news and other programs through its YouTube video sharing site.

The two channels began offering their news programs Tuesday on YouTube in the first agreement of its kind involving major Japanese TV stations and the Web site.

Faced with slumping advertising income, TV stations are looking for new revenue sources and are diversifying into new forms of media services. The programs of TV Asahi and TBS can be viewed through sections dedicated to the two firms within the YouTube site.

The programs can be accessed free of charge for now, but TBS wants to collect fees.