March Madness! YouTube Gets Live Video Via Silverlight

32 Comments

UPDATE: To find out where to watch the 2010 NCAA tournament, go here.

So live video has finally, finally come to YouTube this morning. CBS (s CBS) has embedded its Silverlight March Madness bracket and live game coverage directly onto a YouTube channel. Go to http://www.youtube.com/marchmadness to check it out. Butler-LSU just started, and it looks great. The Silverlight player looks exactly the same as on the free March Madness on Demand site — it’s just on YouTube. Archived videos on the page appear to be hosted by YouTube.

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YouTube has not offered live video to its users, in part because it would be a serious infrastructure demand and expense with the site’s massive audience. But we’ve heard from people at the company who were upset they missed out on big live video events like the Obama Inauguration. Not being able to participate in real-time kind of steals the biggest video site in the world’s thunder. YouTube used Akamai (s AKAM) to live stream its own user festival to hundreds of thousands of viewers last year, but that seems to have been a one-off.

It’s also worth noting that, until today, YouTube has mandated that content providers use its own player and hosting service. If the site becomes more flexible about allowing outside players and hosting, it could have a lot more luck negotiating with major media companies.

It’s also pretty funny that Microsoft (s MSFT) is powering Google’s (s GOOG) first real live video offering. And we just saw a promo for CBS’s competing video site TV.com.

See also: Our complete list of March Madness live video resources.

32 Comments

Alex Zambelli

@Sidharth:
Silverlight doesn’t require IE. It runs just fine in Firefox, Safari, and even Chrome. It’s designed to be a cross-browser, cross-platform plugin.

Will

Fair, but just because my company puts an IFRAME around a Google page, I wouldn’t say my company “chooses Google as a search provider” cuz Google doesn’t even know if I do that. I guess it’s all about branding…

Will

YouTube really has nothing to do with it. They merely put up a page that has an IFRAME pointing to http://mmod.ncaa.com/video. It’s not actually embedding Silverlight. Soplease don’t make the mistake of thinking this is bigger than it is…

Sidharth

I find it funny that youtube wants us to use IE for accessing the marchmadness site

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