Updated from 12:35 p.m. EDT
News Corp. (NWS - Get Report) and General Electric's (GE - Get Report) NBC Universal will team up with major Internet companies to fire a shot at Google (GOOG - Get Report), but they probably won't cause much of a wound.
The two media giants announced a partnership Thursday to launch an online video site this summer loaded with popular content, like full episodes of their smash hit TV shows like "Heroes," "24," "Saturday Night Live" and "American Idol."
Web rivals like Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report), Yahoo! (YHOO - Get Report), Time Warner's (TWX - Get Report) AOL and News Corp.'s MySpace have pledged to help distribute the site in a move that was presented by the companies as "a game changer for Internet video."Forrester Research analyst Josh Bernoff says it's unlikely that the site can compete directly with the cultural phenomenon that is YouTube, the Internet video site that was recently acquired by Google. "YouTube is really two parts social experience and one-part video," says Bernoff. "NBC and News Corp. don't quite have what they need to duplicate the social experience part of it. Users are absolutely not going to be allowed to post any video they want on there, so while it could be a formidable Web destination and successful on its own terms, it won't take anything away from YouTube." By "social experience," Bernoff is referring to the grassroots aspect of YouTube that allows users to post their own videos on the site and potentially gain access to millions of viewers and, in some cases, affect national politics.