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Volume 72, Issue 102, Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Staff Editorial


                        Robyn Morrow             Chris Elliott                       
                                               John Arterbury       Caitlin Cuppernull

YouTube and NBA getting it right

You know that part at the end of NBA games when it says, "Any distribution of this game without the NBA's legal consent is prohibited."

Apparently thousands of fans did not get the message, and the NBA is doing something about it. It has struck a deal with YouTube that will get rid of the majority of unauthorized uploads of its events on the Web site.

The deal would create an NBA channel on YouTube, through which the league will transmit authorized video, allow sanctioned fan uploads and have the authority to reject those it wants removed. It would also allow users to post videos of their own hoops skills, which will be compiled into a weekly top 10 to be shown on the channel, The New York Times reported.

The NBA, following in the shadows of the NHL, which had previously struck a deal with YouTube, has found a way to restrict the illegal uploading and sharing of its content, while simultaneously finding a way to get fans and the Average Joe more involved.

There are drawbacks to the deal. For instance, it will probably grow increasingly difficult to find videos of Jermaine O'Neal of the Indiana Pacers landing a sucker punch on that unsuspecting fan in that famous 2005 Brawl at Auburn Hills.

It's also a strong possibility that mixed videos of NBA highlights containing profane lyrics will be rejected from the channel, however the video quality and credibility should tremendously increase, as should fan participation.

Other sporting organizations, associations and conferences should consider going in the same direction. It could only help. 

Conference USA is considered a mid-major conference in basketball and gets very little respect in football. It could upload highlights of games that wouldn't normally make the cut on ESPN, and allowing YouTube users to interact could only raise awareness and viewership.


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