Well that’s the way it used to be.
The announcement last week that YouTube has signed a deal with the Indian Premier League (IPL) for live coverage of their cricket games is surely an unequivocal signal that this is about to change.
The ownership of sports broadcast rights has been the central motive force for the growth of Sky over the past 20 years, and the combination of YouTube’s reach and Google’s ability to monetise through advertising, must be blowing a very cold wind down the corridors of subscription-funded sports channels.
According to Joe Leahy in the FT, this deal has been largely driven by a brief to increase Google’s market share in India, but bandwidth issues mean that live streaming on any scale is still in the future.
However, industry commentators generally agree that this is a good deal if the price is right (Google is still looking for a headline sponsor). What do you think?
P.S. I nearly titled this post “Google bowls a Googly”, but thought better of it ;-)