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Google's IPL deal just isn't cricket for broadcasters

Adrian Drury | March 30, 2010
YouTubes deal to stream matches from the Indian Premier League (IPL) takes Google a step closer to the heart of the broadcasting industry.

Broadcasters need to consider the massive audience clustering around YouTube, which trends at over 400 million unique viewers daily and over a 1 billion page views. Along with enhanced DRM through ContentID, this gives it leverage with media, entertainment, and sports majors such as the IPL. It cannot be ignored as a distribution circuit and channel for audience engagement. The trade-off is simple: short-term ad revenues or long-term strategic position.

The key challenge now for Google is to get its own distribution channel of choice the browser onto the television set. It has pushed YouTube out onto TV-based applications, but with limited success. If recent market rumours are to be believed, it is in the process of testing a Google Search-driven TV service with Dish Networks and is testing a hardware platform with Sony, Logitech, and Intel to bring this browser experience to any TV set. If Google and partners can get the user experience right and search comes to TV, what comes down the pipe will be Google-served advertising.


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