Eyebrows went up when Google recently agreed to spend $1.65 billion for YouTube, the most popular Web site for free video clips. But that figure could be blown away if some emerging companies achieve their much broader visions for the future of online TV.

These companies are building flexible online networks that can host content, serve up ads and dish out interactive features. These new Internet TV platforms are designed to host full-fledged channels that content creators can control.

One of the best positioned is Brightcove, which today is taking the wraps off an Internet video network that handles virtually everything for content creators. Aiming to serve everyone from garage auteurs to major media companies, Brightcove offers free publishing tools and runs video wherever publishers want it.

That could be on the central Brightcove site, which is accessible through the video-search functions at Google, Yahoo! and AOL. Or content publishers can use Brightcove to run video on their own separate, branded sites. Or they can syndicate it to third-party Web sites, such as blogs or MySpace pages, where the content might run alongside user-generated material.

All those videos can be sold as paid downloads or streamed for free, with ads. Brightcove will sell ads and pool them among its customers, or it will plug in commercials that content creators sell themselves.

"They can launch a business in our system in a week," said Brightcove's founder and chief executive, Jeremy Allaire, who formerly was chief technical officer at Flash graphics creator Macromedia before Adobe Systems bought it.

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