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Monday, April 15, 2024

UCTV partners with YouTube to form first original university-run channel

UCTV will launch a new original YouTube channel, UCTV Prime, on March 1 as the first university-run channel to be a part of YouTube’s new production partnerships.

“YouTube is investing millions in all kinds of original programming to make programming exclusive to YouTube as we shift how we view that [which] was traditionally on television,” said Lynn Burnstan, director of UCTV. “When YouTube began looking for partners and asked us if YouTube were to invest in some original programming, we pitched them an idea for what we could do.”

According to a press release from the UC Office of the President, the channel will feature a collection of in-depth 10-minute documentary mini-series. The channel will launch with the first of four installments of “Naked Art,” which will be exploring UC’s public art collections.

The UCTV project has a year of investment funding from YouTube consisting of $300,000. However, Burnstan said there was likely to be a shared cost structure for any additional funding required. A campus would bring some funding and UCTV could augment it, as it has been traditionally.

Other programs planned so far include “UCTV Prime: Cuts,” a five-minute recurring series reporting on research development and entertaining events, “UCTV Prime: Vote”, another five-minute recurring series offering election analysis and commentary by UC faculty and experts, and a three-part series examining the obesity epidemic and how UC San Francisco researchers are working to combat it.

“We have potential to all kinds of different things,” Burnstan said . “We’re going to be in Davis’s Sacramento center, taping some commentary for our [“UCTV Prime: Vote”] segment. This will give political scientists a say in the conversation on the election.”

Burnstan hopes the programming will be from all over the University of California system. Different units from different campuses will contribute footage sometimes on their own, and sometimes with the help of UCTV centrally.

“With technology and viewer habits changing so fast, the whole nature of ‘television’ is evolving,” Burnstan said in the press release. “We’re thrilled and honored to take part in YouTube’s ambitious effort to shape the future of the medium.”

AKSHAYA RAMANUJAM can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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