YouTube Joins Up With IGN And Shine

As part of YouTube’;s recently-announced channels initiative, News Corp-owned companies IGN Entertainment and Shine Group will launch START, a new YouTube video games channel in early 2012.

Programmed by games company IGN, in partnership with production group Shine, START will offer a mix of live and long-form programming and feature celebrity appearances. “Games deserve to be right up there with sports and music and sci-fi, as the subject of great pieces of entertainment,” said Roy Bahat, President, IGN Entertainment.

The announcement is significant for all kinds of reasons. Firstly, it shows how serious YouTube is about entering the TV space. Secondly, it”s evidence that gaming is moving into the entertainment mainstream. Thirdly, it hints at a thawing of relationships between Google (owner of YouTube) and Rupert Murdoch-controlled News Corp. Finally, it”s an indicator that producer-distributors like Shine (best known for MasterChef) want to find ways of going direct-to-consumer as well as via broadcast.

Commenting on the deal, Elisabeth Murdoch, Shine Group Chairman and CEO, said: “IGN has earned a following like no other in the gaming world through its unrivalled coverage of the genre. The YouTube channel initiative provides the opportunity to combine this knowledge with the creativity of our world class production teams at Shine Group to bring gamers, from the most casual to dedicated, a new, engaging and entertaining experience.”

Shows expected to be featured in START’;s initial programming slate include: The Next Game Boss, Game Over, Celebrity Assassin and IGN Pro League.

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