Catching up with sports video news … The NBA was an anchor tenant in the Google Video Marketplace, even participating in the CES circus. Three weeks later, the league quickly scored with downloads of Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game at $3.95 a pop but the clock has run out on the initial deal and the NBA has pulled its videos for now. Here’s my informed understanding of the situation: The initial single-season deal was timed to end before the current NBA season. The NBA is still talking to Google and other companies with at least one download announcement expected in the next few weeks.
True sports fans have another option in the meantime — current and classic NHL games are now available on Google Video and fans are being encouraged to upload their own video. The NHL video microsite links back to NHL.com. The classic options are very sparse for now although Rangers fans in need of a lift can relive Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup free through the end of the week. New games are available 48 hours after they air on TV as part of the multi-year marketing deal between Google and the NHL. The delay means games will be available in markets that otherwise would be blacked out. It also gives the NHL a prominent place on both Google and Yahoo, which has the portal lock on live NHL games through a deal with Comcast Versus. Release. The CanWest News Service: Keith Ritter, president, NHL ICE: “This is definitely not a substitute for watching television. In this new digital age, you have to try new stuff . . . a lot of fans want to see games they missed. … TV ratings are fine and are growing … no entity that competes in the sports and entertainment world can afford not to reach out and grow their fanbase.”
NFL not on YouTube: Put sports high on the list of the deals Google-YouTube needs to make. The major leagues are among the most zealous when it comes to guarding copyright so it’s not surprising that the NFL would take the time to log illicit clips on YouTube and demand removal. According to the Mercury News, video of some 3,000 clips including game footage have been pulled at the league’s request.
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