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Channel 4 to put entire shows on YouTube

Channel 4 and Google have signed a deal to put the station's entire catch-up service on YouTube, for free, ad-supported streaming in the UK

Channel 4 and Google have signed a deal to put the station's entire catch-up service on YouTube, for free, ad-supported streaming in the UK.

Around 3,000 hours of full-length shows from Channel 4's archive will also be available to watch for free. These include Skins, Peep Show, Brass Eye, Teachers, Derren Brown and Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares.

The content will begin to appear in late 2009, with all shows in the archive set to be available by early 2010. Programmes available for catch-up viewing will appear on YouTube "shortly after television transmission".

'The aim is high-definition'

In terms of quality, a Google spokesperson told CNET UK this afternoon that by early 2010, "The aim is to have all Channel 4 content in HD." We assume older shows not shot in high definition will instead appear in YouTube's high-quality standard-def format, however.

YouTube also has a mobile version of its service for use on Apple's iPhone and iPod touch. Regarding iPhone streaming, a Channel 4 spokesperson told us, "Under the terms of the deal we have the option to opt in or opt out, but we haven't made a decision on it yet."

Under the terms of the agreement, YouTube will work with Channel 4 for three years and split the revenue generated by ads displayed within the videos and around each show's page on the site.

Channel 4 originally made its archive of shows available for free streaming on its Web site in June this year, and by September 2009 reported over 10 million individual streams of its full-length shows.