Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 11/17/06 at 09:21 AM ET
While users have already been able to access NHL highlights for months at the website — clips available at YouTube, before yesterday's deal was announced, included a 1999 brawl between the Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers and a collection of goals scored by Washington's young forward Alexander Ovechkin — a formal agreement with the hockey league helps to legitimize the Internet site. "It's further validation for YouTube," said Jimmy Schaeffler, a former producer with ABC Sports who now works as the Carmel Group media consultancy in California. "It's kind of like when the government says something's illegal but doesn't do anything about it, and then they make it legal and, all of a sudden, people rush in and it becomes that much more popular." Still, Schaeffler said, "how the NHL monetizes this remains the big question."
Just this week, Google said it would set aside more than $200 million to deal with potential lawsuits and copyright settlements over the next 12 months that might arise in the wake of its acquisition of YouTube.
“The only reason this deal was done was because the NHL was going to make YouTube remove all of the copyrighted NHL clips. So YouTube says, `Okay, we’ll host whatever you want for free just so it’s not negative press,’” said Dan Rayburn, executive vice-president with Internet consulting company Steaming Media.
Rayburn said the deal was of minimal value to the NHL.
“Why not host the clips on the NHL.com site and drive traffic there?” Rayburn asked.
“Why give YouTube the traffic when the NHL will get no revenue in return? If the NHL was smart, they would take the same route that (baseball) has gone and actually make money from their content instead of giving away their videos and hoping they will see something in return from a share of advertising revenue.”
concluded. Killer article.
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