updated 04:30 am EST, Wed February 23, 2011
Live sport streaming ad driven revenue gold mine
Google-owned YouTube is reportedly in talks with the NBA and NHL to stream games live. The plan follows the successful trial of live cricket matches and special events such as Arcade Fire live at Madison Square Garden. Google currently screens over 3 billion advertisements on YouTube videos a week driving its ad supported revenue model that has enabled to give away its cloud-based services and operating systems such as Android, but all of which are aimed at driving users towards clicking on its ads.
During its trial of the Indian Premier League live cricket coverage, Google found that users spent on average around 40 mins watching each game. This compared with the average of 15 mins spent by users viewing videos on YouTube at other times. It believes that by delivering more free live sports programming on YouTube that it will continue to drive its revenue stream.
Google's director of content partnerships for Asia Gautam Anand explained that YouTube's contract with the Indian Premier League also gave Google a portion of ad revenue from the TV broadcasts and from the Premier League's official website. "It's fair to say that there will be a lot more appealing sports content you'll see on YouTube," Anand said. "We have ongoing conversations with pretty much everyone."