CBS: We Won't Be Buying YouTube

CBS ruled out a purchase of social video site YouTube Thursday, although its chief executive said it would not rule out the purchase of a smaller competitor. CEO Les Moonves said at a meeting of television executives in London that the U.S. network is in the market to buy so-called "new media" ventures.

Rumors of a possible deal between YouTube and CBS began to swirl when the CBS executive was spotted talking to YouTube founder Chad Hurley. However, the social video site's asking price is probably much higher than the network is willing to pay - it is rumored the company was looking for $1 billion.

"[YouTube] is obviously phenomenally successful," Moonves was quoted by Reuters as saying at the meeting. "I doubt we would buy it at this point." He added that the two men were only discussing distribution deals, such as daily news and sports from CBS being uploaded unto the site.

Several media conglomerates have turned to the Internet for new streams of revenue -- the most high profile example being News Corp. and MySpace -- with varying degrees of success. Moonves did not say if CBS was interested in any of the currently available social networking sites.

In addition to online networking, Moonves disclosed that the company had been solicited by bankers to make bids on two international broadcasters: UK broadcaster ITV and Endemol, the Dutch company behind the worldwide smash hit "Big Brother." CBS already broadcasts an Americanized version of the show in the United States.

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