Not long after it was announced that ESPN will be available for streaming over the web, courtesy of the Dish Network, the NFL has signed a deal that will allow viewers to watch official highlight clips via YouTube.
These same videos will also show up in Google search results—alongside information about scores and forthcoming games, which will appear in Google’s “OneBox” search result feature. As Engadget points out, it appears that the videos aren’t region-locked, which is good news for NFL fans living outside of North America.
To compensate the NFL, Google will sell associated ads and share this revenue with the football league, along with promoting the NFL on YouTube and elsewhere.
Given that the football league already has deals in place with Twitter and Facebook, the move doesn’t come as a great surprise, but is still a confirmation of how even the giants of the old media world are rethinking their approach to distribution.
In the case of YouTube and the NFL, of course, the goal is still to direct people back to viewing games on a television—but it’s a step in the right direction nonetheless.