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YouTube says it's in talks to stream NHL, NBA games, NHL says it isn't

Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
February 23, 2011
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Currently, sports is one of the main things that's tough to stay connected to if you choose not to subscribe to traditional linear pay-TV service like cable or satellite, so it's no surprise there was much ado over Gautam Anand, Google Director of Content Partnerships for Asia Pacific, saying the company is negotiating to broadcast NHL and NBA games on YouTube. However, the key words in Bloomberg's report of the statement are "for Asia Pacific," and while the NHL flat out denied any discussions, the NBA merely noted it was "pleased that YouTube recognizes the value of live sports." YouTube already airs games from the Indian Cricket Premier League, and PaidContent's Staci Kramer has learned talks centered around the possibility of airing NBA games -- but only in Asia. It's doubtful, if not ludicrous, to think TNT or ABC/ESPN would let hoop games escape from cable to the internet like free agents to South Beach and while leagues could see potential in new international broadcast models, don't expect to see things changing in the US anytime soon.

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