The video-sharing website YouTube announced the launch here Tuesday of an international service in nine languages. Local language versions are now available in Britain, Brazil, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen told a press conference.
A German version should also soon get under way, with the site offerings eventually extended to other countries as well, he said.
YouTube said it had signed partnership agreements with such international content providers as the BBC, the French all news channel France 24 and the French public-service television company France Televisions, as well as the Spanish channels Antena 3 and Cuatro TV.
Deals have also been reached with European football clubs Chelsea, AC Milan, Barcelona and Real Madrid. Sakina Arsiwala, in charge of YouTube's international operation, said users in the nine countries would now have access to worldwide content with locally adapted technical support.
The search engine Google, which acquired YouTube in October 2006, is developing its presence in Europe, where it is already largely ahead of competitors Microsoft and Yahoo!.
In France, YouTube, which now functions in English, had 20.2 per cent of the market in April compared with 19.6 per cent for another site, Dailymotion.