YouTube announced today that it is in talks with the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League to show live, streaming games on its site. According to Gautam Anand, Google’s Director of Content Partnerships for Asia Pacific, Google is in talks with “most pro sports leagues” including the NBA and NHL, and European soccer leagues.
I have always thought that live sports / events (e.g. Grammys) might be TV's saviour. Live events, such as the games from professional sports leagues and other major one off events like the Grammy Awards, seem to account for so much of TV's viewership in the world today. Social media has been added to the mix as there is also much Twitter and Facebook activity around live events.
A direct indicator of this is the increased in revenue for this year's Grammy Awards. (See report here). It shows that the Grammys is delivering the audience the brands want to get in front of, and the brands are willing to pay for it. Another indicator of the sheer popularity of TV for sports was an observation I made during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. During the course of the tournament, I noticed that World Cup Football related topics accounted for 7 of the top 10 trending topics on Twitter globally. If sports and live events are so critical to TV in such a tangible way, what is likely to happen if YouTube closes this deal with the major sporting leagues? What do you think?
How will it impact the Caribbean? Our big ticket events stream via the internet. The International Soca Monarch in Trinidad and Tobago is one event that has worked hard on broadcasting their event live to the mass market around the world. Could this move end up being beneficial to Caribbean media and independent producers, by offering us more possibilities to broadcast our events to our people around the world? Will the business model that YouTube and Google build around live events help us to monetize our content better?
Corey Graham 2.0