There was some buzz about the NBA's latest decision to embrace YouTube in order to let fans upload their own videos. It's definitely a good move -- a step in the right direction. However, none of the news reports seemed to cover the (not particularly old) news that this isn't the NBA's first dance with Google and online videos. When Google first launched its online video platform, the NBA was one of the big brand name partners it trotted out -- along with the ability to pay to see video of basketball games online. Despite being one of the headline marquee name supporting Google Video, that deal died a quiet death last year. Even after that, though, the NBA seemed to have trouble with YouTube and the idea of "sharing" videos. Back in December, following an infamous brawl, the NBA sought to hide all the clips from YouTube, despite the fact that it was being shown pretty much non-stop on TV stations like ESPN. It will be interesting to see what happens the next time this sort of "negative" event occurs for the NBA. Part of the new deal with YouTube, while encouraging fans to upload their favorite clips, also lets the NBA "claim" the content and demand anything it doesn't like get taken down. It's nice to see the NBA move in the right direction, from looking at online video as simply a way to squeeze more money out of people, to a way for fans to communicate and share favorite clips. However, given how badly it shot and missed the last few times, let's wait and see if the NBA can actually score with this new offering.
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