If you’re anything like me you hate to be caught in a predicament when you are stuck somewhere with no television access to watch your favorite NBA game. This causes for nothing short of frustration, bewilderment and in some cases all-out rage. Well, not anymore. Apparently, as of very recently (today), the NBA has been in talks with Google Inc’s YouTube about streaming games live. Problem solved!
Just last year YouTube begin showing live streams of Indian Premier League cricket matches with great success. According to Business Week, these games brought in 55 million visits from over 250 countries. Gautam Anand, Google’s director of content partnerships for Asia Pacific, stated in an interview in Seoul yesterday that “YouTube aims to show more live sports in the second half of the year.” There were rumors that YouTube was also in talks with the NHL but it was confirmed today by the NHL through mashable.com that the NHL is in no talks with YouTube to stream any games live. Google is, however, said to be talking with professional soccer leagues in Europe regarding streaming possibilities. “It’s fair to say that there will be a lot more appealing sports content you’ll see on YouTube,” states Anand. “We have ongoing conversations with pretty much everyone.”
It is safe to say that by offering live sports content Google along with YouTube can expect to see ad revenue skyrocket considering the numbers the site will likely draw in. With this new live streaming venture YouTube will not only attract those who may not have access to their television at game time, this will also be beneficial to those who may be in parts of the country or world where NBA games aren’t on the schedule. There is also that niche of people who much prefer to use the computer over watching television and will be more likely to stream NBA games via YouTube out of sheer convenience.
Live NBA streams aren’t the only development YouTube is looking to make this year. It is rumored that the site will be leaning toward becoming more of an entertainment hub by building out the site’s instated talent program by offering big-name stars their own YouTube channel. Another key goal of YouTube is to offer longer clips of movies and shows under the lead of Robert Kyncl, a former Netflix, Inc. executive. In order to boost sports content Google hired Claude Ruibal, former chief executive and chairman of Universal Sports. This is a very clear indicator that this is the year YouTube decides to expand horizons by shaking things up.
This is only the beginning for the revamping of YouTube. Google is also trying to offer more live stream video clips and concerts. It seems to me that great minds are at work over there at Google and YouTube. For so long YouTube had been a hub for us regular folk looking for other regular folks to do not-so-regular things and it appears now we’ll be getting more than we bargained. Kudos YouTube! Bring it on.