June 21, 2007, 12:00 AM

YouTube launches local sites in nine countries

Online video site YouTube LLC has launched international sites in nine countries in Europe, South America, and the Far East.

Online video site YouTube LLC has launched international sites in nine countries in Europe, South America, and the Far East.

Local versions of YouTube, a subsidiary of Google Inc., are now available in Brazil, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom. As part of a first-stage rollout, each site is fully translated, with local home pages and search functions. Over time, each site will add country-specific video rankings and comments, as well as video, channel, categories and community sections, YouTube says.

“Video is universal and allows people around the world to communicate and exchange ideas,” says Chad Hurley, co-founder and CEO. “We are expanding upon our already global platform to make it even more relevant for our local communities.”

YouTube already has signed various international content partners, including broadcasters such as the BBC, France 24, the Spanish Antena 3 and Cuatro TV, the Portuguese RTP, the Dutch VPRO and NPO; European football clubs such as Chelsea FC, AC Milan, Barcelona FC and Real Madrid; and non-profit organizations such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, UNHCR and Medecins du Monde.

YouTube announced the launch earlier this week.

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