While Yahoo has had a tumultuous last few years, one unit that has consistently been at the top of the heap is its sports news division. At the same time, NBC Sports has been getting a boost -- even without the NHL's help -- ever since Comcast bought NBCUniversal. Apparently between Yahoo's need to better leverage its media properties and NBC's free agency after calling it quits with Microsoft the two have found common ground and struck a deal. Although both websites will continue to operate independently, expect multi-platform crossover between TV and internet, cross-promotion with links to NBC Sports Live Extra streams from within Yahoo, new made-for-the-internet video shows combining their assets and Yahoo's fantasy sports will be the exclusive game for NBC's Rotoworld site. Check after the break for the press release and a heads up on why even non-sports fans that pay for TV may need to keep an eye on this move.
Whether or not you watch sports, channels like these already account for a significant part of cable and satellite TV bills, and will likely gobble up more going forward. That's pushing moves like this one and similar efforts like Time Warner Cable's SportsNet that now broadcasts LA Lakers games in Southern California and is reportedly seeking a deal for the Dodgers. In other corners, ESPN continues to expand its influence (snagging all of the new Division 1 college football playoff games for a dozen years), previously niche segments like regional conferences are driving up the demand for their networks and the dual threat of social media and DVRs are making live TV events more important than ever. The details on Yahoo and NBC's deal are in the press release -- we'll just be happy if the official Engadget HD Fantasy leagues don't see any more outages as we go into the playoffs.
YAHOO! SPORTS, NBC SPORTS GROUP TEAM UP FOR NEWS, FANTASY, AND VIDEO COVERAGE OF SPORTING EVENTS
SUNNYVALE, Calif. and NEW YORK, December 9, 2012 - Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) and the NBC Sports Group today announced a content and promotional deal combining Yahoo! Sports' original reporting expertise, coverage of big events, Rivals college content and popular fantasy sports products with NBC Sports Group's growing digital assets, and significant television promotion and integration. This alliance of two of the most trusted brands in sports will become the daily habit of fans looking for an all-star lineup of digital and on-air experiences.
While Yahoo! Sports and the NBC Sports Group will continue to maintain separate sites and editorial control of their respective newsrooms and digital properties, they will collaborate on premium sports news and events coverage both online and on the air. Yahoo! Sports' popular products will also be included in the NBC Sports Group's digital assets.
Key features of the alliance include:
· Editorial Depth: The combined talent roster of Yahoo! Sports and NBC Sports features a deep bench of award-winning reporters and commentators, such as NBC's Bob Costas and Mike Florio; Yahoo!'s Dan Wetzel and Adrian Wojnarowski. Yahoo! Sports' renowned investigative reporting will be featured on NBC TV, giving fans multiple-platform delivery.
· Original Video Programming Concepts: Yahoo! Sports and NBC Sports will work together to develop original made-for-web video programs that will appear on both Yahoo! Sports and NBCSports.com featuring fan favorites from among the award-winning editorial teams' rosters, including:
o NBC Sports host and Emmy Award-winning commentator Bob Costas: video sports news interviews and editorials
o Football Night in America's Tony Dungy & Rodney Harrison: video segments during NFL season
o Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com: daily, weekday NFL web show, Pro Football Talk Live
o Rivals on Recruiting: weekly college recruiting show with Rivals and NBC Sports talent.
· Live Streaming: Yahoo! Sports will link to and promote the NBC Sports Live Extra video player. Fans will be able to watch live streams of some of NBC's biggest events, starting with Sunday Night Football and NHL Game of the Week. Live content from NBC Sports Network will continue to be distributed through NBC Sports Live Extra on a TV Everywhere basis.
· Fantasy Sports: Yahoo! Sports, the leading fantasy platform, will become the exclusive fantasy game provider of NBC Sports' Rotoworld, the premiere fantasy news and information site. This will include Yahoo! Sports' fantasy experiences for football, baseball, hockey, soccer, College Bowl Pick'em and Tourney Pick'em.
· Rivals.com: The college sports destination will power recruiting and college sporting news for NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports Regional Networks.
· NBC Sports Regional Networks: The authentic, local sports properties will serve as Yahoo's preferred content provider in relevant markets, and integrate Yahoo! Sports' team pages, fantasy experts and sports talent.
· NBC's Alli Sports: Providing youth-focused, action-sports video and other content to Yahoo!
"Passionate fans need news and analysis about their favorite teams in real time, and they want access to that information no matter where they are. We're thrilled to combine Yahoo!'s fantasy offerings, product innovation and editorial authority with NBC's broadcast coverage of live sports events and award-winning on-air talent. We think our users will love the result," said Ken Fuchs vice president of Yahoo! Global Media and head of Yahoo! Sports and Games.
"The complementary nature of this partnership is unmatched in digital sports media," said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group. "Through our growing television and digital platforms, the Yahoo! Sports partnership dramatically expands the digital reach of NBC Sports around the biggest sporting events. We are committed to continually growing this alliance for the benefit of both parties, our sports-property partners, and, most importantly, sports fans."
Yahoo! Sports and NBC Sports will also provide scalable advertising solutions to reach engaged audiences through distinctive opportunities and sponsorships. The alliance will include the following sites: Yahoo! Sports, the Rivals Network, NBCSports.com, NBC Sports Regional Networks,, Golf Channel.com, Rotoworld.com and Allisports.com. NBCSports.com will continue to provide sports content for NBCNews.com.
Yahoo! is focused on making the world's daily habits more inspiring and entertaining. By creating highly personalized experiences for our users, we keep people connected to what matters most to them, across devices and around the world. In turn, we create value for advertisers by connecting them with the audiences that build their businesses. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and has offices located throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific (APAC) and the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions. For more information, visit the pressroom (pressroom.yahoo.net) or the company's blog (yodel.yahoo.com).
About NBC Sports Group:
When the Comcast-NBC Universal transaction was completed in January 2011, the sports assets of the two companies combined to form the NBC Sports Group, which serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. The sports media company consists of a unique array of broadcast television, cable television, radio and digital sports assets, including NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBC Sports Network, Golf Channel, 11 NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBC Sports Radio and all of their respective digital properties. The NBC Sports Group possesses an unparalleled collection of television rights agreements, partnering with some of the most prestigious sports properties in the world; the International Olympic Committee and United States Olympic Committee, NFL, NHL, PGA TOUR, PGA of America, USGA, Churchill Downs, Premier League, MLS, Tour de France, French Open, Formula One, IndyCar and many more.