Blog by: George Thomas and Ron Ledgard
Since the advent of the Internet experts have been preaching convergence with other media. While it's doubtful that will ever happen in a fully realized version (see the Microsoft-NBC collaboration MSNBC which is now basically defunct with NBC having assumed full control of the cable news outtlet) what will happen is that the new media will continue to complement the traditional one.
Witness the latest move in that realm from NBC and Yahoo, a partnership designed to expand the reach of each.
Looking at it from a distance it's a win-win. Yahoo has the digital infrastructure to get more eyes on NBC programming, which includes the NFL, Notre Dame football, assorted golf tournaments, horse racing and the NHL (if it ever resumes play) among others.
And this partnership plays to Yahoo's strength. Although the once innovative website has struggled in recent years, it's one strength has been the fact that it's a destination spot for sports fans. It has a top notch investigative team, some of the best NBA writers in the country including Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears.
Yahoo, in turn, will have access to the likes of Bob Costas and Peter King among others.
That will be augmented for Yahoo with a wide-ranging deal that includes live streaming of NBC events and programming along with that produced in partnership with NBC.
For NBC it receives access to Yahoo's popular Fantasy Sports platforms along with access to Rivals.com one of the leaders in college sports recruiting.
Yes, this is a shot across ESPN's bow and a savvy move for both parties. NBC, which in recent months has begun to focus on sports media with cable's NBC Sports Network and the luanch of NBC Sports Radio back in September, won't have to start from scratch and Yahoo gets an immediate content boost.
Sure sports fans will benefit, but the real beneificiaries will be the assorted sports leagues and college conferences who will haul in tons of money from rights fees these sports networks and alliances pay for rights to their content.
“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.”
According to an NBC news release the alliance includes:
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! Sports’ 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:
NBC Sports host and Emmy Award-winning commentator Bob Costas: video sports news interviews and editorials
Football Night in America’sTony Dungy & Rodney Harrison: video segments during NFL season
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com: daily, weekday NFL web show, Pro Football Talk Live
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 serveas Yahoo! Sports’ 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! Sports.