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YouTube Cuts First Major Sports Deal; Will Launch NHL Channel; Glimpse Of New Google Video Strategy?

The NHL, still striving to overcome the labor dispute that shut down the league for the 2004-05 season, already has online deals in place with Yahoo, Comcast and Google. Now the league is hooking up with Google subsidiary YouTube to create a new channel on the video-sharing site, according to the SportsBusiness Journal. The league will provide game highlights and behind-the-scene video; YouTube will put the clips on a dedicated NHL channel supplemented with user-uploaded video. As has been the case with other YouTube content deals, the NHL will be able to remove copyright-breaching content from the site or can leave it and share in the revenue. (That particular form of sharing doesn’t include the user as best I can tell.) YouTube says more league deals are in the works.
In a way, this deal combined with the recent Google Video-NHL agreement displays what could be seen as Google’s new video strategy: the NHL offers downloads for pay at Google Video, clips to share at YouTube. The sites could cross promote the offerings easily — for instance, tell people who download a game video at Google to click on this YouTube link if they want to share highlights with their friends or tell YouTube highlight viewers the full game is available at Google Video. Whether they will is a different question.
Related: <a href="" title="NBA Drops Google Video