UPDATED: YouTube has confirmed at the MIPCOM 2012 content fair currently take place in Cannes that it is extending its original channels initiative to the UK, France and Germany, and will launch 60 new European channels over the coming months.
The Google entity launched its YouTube Originals programme last year, offering US$ 100mn to professional content producers in a bid to boost its content credentials. By September of this year, 20 of the 100 original channels started getting at least 1mn views a week, according to AdAge.
YouTube revealed at MIPCOM that it has already awarded contracts to a bunch of content houses, including BBC Worldwide in the UK; UFA/FremantleMedia and Endemol in Germany; and Kabo Productions in France.
UK firm Base79 has become one of the key beneficiaries of the programme, winning contracts to deliver four new channels for YouTube, covering topics ranging from Guinness World Records through football and other sports to comedy.
Meanwhile, the New York Times is reporting rumours that YouTube is preparing to invest an extra US$ 200mn in its YouTube Originals programme, earmarked to market the shows, pay for production equipment and, in some cases, pay the full production costs.