Google's NBA Airball

from the so-much-for-that-plan dept

When Google launched their online video offering, to so much hype, many people were pretty stunned by how awful it was. Adding yet another incompatible DRM to the mix certainly didn’t endear anyone to the product. While most of that early focus from Google was on the paid downloads, it became clear quickly that where Google Video was catching on was with free videos, like YouTube. So, perhaps it’s not at all surprising to find out that the NBA seems to have killed their deal to sell basketball videos via Google Video (though, it’s not clear if people who already had paid for the downloads still can watch them). Instead, though, the article notes that the NHL is putting up hockey videos online… for free. Even better, if you go to the Google Video page for the NHL, you discover that the NHL is actually encouraging fans to upload their own fan videos, showing that the NHL seems to recognize the importance of fan-created media much more than other sports like football and baseball, who want only authorized (read: big media companies who have paid them millions) partners to create content around the games.

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Comments on “Google's NBA Airball”

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winnie says:

It’s a good start. I hope it’s actually going to be permanent, and the NHL doesn’t do an about face like basketball did. It could be an experiment to see if a pay service would be valuable for them.

Effectively, there isn’t much value for complete archived games for most fans. There may be a fair amount of interest for a few days, and then the occasional download over time for the hardcore devotee. If Google wants to do the work and pay for bandwidth, everyone wins.

Anonymous Coward says:

Gee I wonder why the NHL is offering free videos?? could it be that after the strike/lockout that their fan base is dwindling. Or could it be that is not even the 4th most popular sport in America any more?? They need to do something to get people interested in the sport again and to win back those that they lost. But Im sure once they get the fans back they will quickly pull the free videos and revert to a paid service.

iRule says:

The only reason the NHL is offering this product is because they have realized that their core product “professional hockey as entertainment” is not worth anywhere near what they thought it was worth. They are trying other avenues to deliver entertainment value to customers and fans. For this, I applaud them. Too bad I’m not from Canada, and don’t give a rats ass about Hockey.

mousepaw says:

Google's NBA Airball

I’m from (Toronto) Canada. We have hockey FANS. Most Canadians will tell you that hockey was invented in Canada… I think Mike was right when he said “that the NHL seems to recognize the importance of fan-created media” plus, the NHL has nothing to lose. More fan support can’t be beat! But, I have to wonder if it isn’t just an underdog supporting an underdog idea?

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