Is NHL putting YouTube Sharing on Ice?

Update 2: NHL now says the problem was a glitch/miscommunication on their end. The conclusion to the story (hopefully this is it?) got so long, we wrote it up in a separate post.

Update: NHL tells us: “We’re trying to determine why this happened…it wasn’t at our request. We
have a call into YouTube and should be able to tell you more later today.” Also several of the NHL videos on YouTube that we linked to have had their embed tags reinstated — this is what those looked like before the fix.

Media companies are struggling over how to work with YouTube. Is the video site a friend or a foe? Even those that are embracing Google’s online video company aren’t so sure where to draw the line.

The NHL, which gained nearly universal praise for its decision to allow widespread use and sharing of highlight clips on YouTube, seems to be putting the practice of allowing embedding on ice, with some NHL clips on YouTube now sporting the line Embedding disabled by request in the embed code field.

Mark Phillip, founder of Areyouwatchingthis.com (RUWT?), which is like a Digg for sports events, sent us an email saying that the National Hockey League (NHL) is now blocking users from embedding NHL videos posted on YouTube onto any other site. The embedded NHL YouTube videos on RUWT? now are unplayable and say “the owner of this video does not allow video embedding, please watch this on [YouTube].”

It’s interesting because the NHL is one of a few sports leagues that has been using YouTube to bring in more viewers. Phillip says RUWT? has been embedding videos posted by the NHL on YouTube in its stories for a few months now, and right now they have 578 game recaps identified and linked to news stories. Phillip says:

I’m obviously biased, but I think that this is a huge mistake. . . I’m still shocked that despite putting their videos on YouTube, they don’t understand why they’re putting their videos on YouTube.

Check out this link to a YouTube video with no embed code. Phillip also talks more about his reactions on the company blog.

Still, not all the NHL Video clips have been disabled, as seen below. Enjoy while you can. More info as we hear more from YouTube or the NHL.

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