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Eyespot Powers NBA’s Video-mixing site

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Not unlike an unheralded draft pick who cracks the starting lineup, startup video-editing site Eyespot jumps into the big leagues Tuesday as the technology engine behind the NBA’s new “highlights mixer” web site.

With league-sanctioned clips of dunks, blocks, 3-pointers and other top plays available to mix with special-effects sounds as well as popular music, the NBA site could become a fun place to practice your video/audio/sports mashup skills, using Eyespot’s purposely simple online editing tools. The biggest drawback we see with the plan is its walled-garden approach, meaning you can’t share your creations anywhere except inside the confines of the site’s HTML, a force-you-to-join tactic that seems so Web 1.0 in comparison to the sharing ease of YouTube.

Still, the deal (formal announcements are due Tuesday) seems to be a confirmation of Eyespot’s decision to focus on being a white-label provider of such services, instead of building its own destination site. Along with the sort-of-secret deal to build a similar site for Sony, Eyespot has a couple other pending projects in the works, says CTO David Dudas, who gave us a preview of the NBA site late last week.

The online video-editing space is still wide open and growing, as our earlier looks at Cuts and vSocial have shown. Eyespot’s NBA site, as demonstrated by Dudas, seems pretty straightforward and allows for sharing via email. Dudas showed us the latter feature by shooting a clip to his Treo, which seems like a perfect place to sample small, short clips of content. But will it all be enough to induce others to sign up for the site? If it were up to us, we’d open it wide up and let the mashups be shared anywhere, but as Dudas says, that type of behavior is still new and perhaps frightening to people who are used to striking big-dollar deals for their branded content. Maybe over time, the NBA will learn to give up the rock.

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