YouTube said it’s trying to broadcast live NBA and NHL games, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Neither league could be reached for comment.Apparently, this is all part of YouTube’s goal to stream longer clips, which it believes will keep viewers on the site longer and attract more advertisers.
Last year YouTube streamed cricket matches from the Indian Premier League, which garnered an audience larger than 55 million people.
It’s impossible to know the specifics, but it’s difficult to imagine these talks coming to fruition. Both the NBA and NHL charge consumers nearly $200 per season to stream games live online, and have their own television networks starved for more viewers. Why would they outsource their product to YouTube? And it goes without saying that neither leagues’ network partners (ABC, TNT, ESPN, Versus, and NBC) would ever allow YouTube to stream, and sell advertising against, their weekly national telecasts.
The only way we could foresee this working, at least in America, is if YouTube were content to take a few games last minute, so that it wouldn’t cut into any of the aforementioned businesses. However, that might not leave enough notice to attract advertisers. Their best bet is probably international markets.
But the people at Google’s Mountain View, Ca. headquarters are far more well-versed in this subject than we are, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
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