Since its introduction of premium YouTube channels earlier this year, Google has emphasized the curated original channels as a major distribution system in the US. According to Le Figaro, the company is now expanding the channels to France and possibly other European countries. YouTube is apparently working with local producers on 13 original French channels, which could include content from television agencies Capa and Endemol and a comedy series from actor Jean Dujardin. Le Figaro says the channels will represent a range of subject matter and launch in October.
Google has been backing its new channels extensively, but it's still unusual to see it expand them internationally so soon after launch. In France, partners will be guaranteed between 500,000 and 1 million euros to produce 20 hours of original video a year, and similar programs are apparently being developed in the UK and Germany. With a recent French copyright infringement suit dismissed, it looks like Google is hoping to partner or compete directly with local producers in creating original content.
Disclosure: SB Nation, our sister site, is one of YouTube's content partners.