About Face! YouTube, NBC Kiss and Make Up

It looks like the long-simmering feud between NBC and YouTube might be coming to a happy end, says Forbes. The network struck a deal with the video-sharing site that will have YouTube promoting NBC’s fall TV line-up in exchange for on-air plugs and an “undisclosed” number of online ads.

The often-rocky YouTube-NBC relationship began in December, when Saturday Night Live viewers were enamored of the “Lazy Sunday” sketch (featuring two white comics rapping about cupcakes) and uploaded it to YouTube. “Lazy Sunday” was an online smash, renewing SNL’s fleeting pop culture significance and propelling YouTube into the online consciousness. In February, however, NBC lawyers put the kabosh on YouTube’s free SNL publicity campaign, forcing it to remove “Lazy Sunday” (and subsequent bits). Months later, YouTube is still hot stuff and SNL…well, not so much.

But now that NBC and YouTube are all cuddly, does that mean we’ll see “Lazy Sunday” back on the site? No, unfortunately, and the same goes for other unauthorized clips.

Well, will fans of The Office be invited to enter a contest to make their own 20-second promos for the comedy? The answer to that one is ‘yes,’ with the help of the network’s graphics and music (“as long as they don’t use any copyright footage from the show”). The rest of the NBC promos YouTube hosts will be produced by the network, however, featuring clips from new and returning shows (including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, ever-popular with young internet users).

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