“YouTube announced today that it is in talks with the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League to show live, streaming games on its site. According to Gautam Anand, Google’s Director of Content Partnerships for Asia Pacific, Google is in talks with “most pro sports leagues” including the NBA and NHL, and European soccer leagues.
Such a deal would drive viewers to YouTube and generate significant ad revenue for Google. It’s likely that any partnership with a sports league would involve an ad revenue sharing agreement with Google, bringing additional revenue to sports leagues as well.
But there will be several big losers if YouTube wins the rights to stream live sports. TV networks pay sports leagues millions of dollars a year for rights to broadcast games. In 2002, TNT signed a $2.2 billion, 6 year contract to show NBA games, for example. If live games were available for free over YouTube, TV networks would likely see ad revenue decrease.”