The IPL has given us a lot to cheer about this time round, especially with the announcement of live video streams of all DLF IPL 2010 matches on YouTube. This means that if you somehow happen to blow up your TV, you can always tune in to the action from your PC, laptop or mobile phone, as long as you have a good enough internet connection. You can catch all 60 matches that are broadcast across the 45-day cricketing extravaganza, all streamed to your web browser. This is the first ever major sporting event to be officially streamed live across the world. Now, that’s surely a matter of pride for both the IPL as well as Google. Google will hold exclusive online rights for IPL content for two years. In return, Google will share revenues generated from sponsorships and advertising with the IPL.

Play-By-Play Coverage at Your Fingertips

The benefit of having your favorite sport come to you via a medium like the Internet is that you have total control over what you wish to see. Unlike television broadcasts that make you alter your schedules so as to keep from missing a game or highlights show, YouTube allows users to access this content on demand. Content such as highlights, interviews with the stars of the IPL, special packages such as fall of wickets and top shots, pitch reports, and post-match presentations are now available whenever you'd like to watch it.

All of this is coming straight to the fans, and now, it's the fans who decide what they'd like to watch, and when. This initiative is sure to fuel live coverage of more worldwide sporting events on YouTube.

A special 'YouTube View' for fans

Those watching the IPL on YouTube are able to watch the games using a special 'YouTube View'. This, of course, is not available on television, giving YouTube viewers an added incentive, in addition to all the features that are enjoyed by television viewers.

Advantages for advertisers and sponsors

Through YouTube, advertisers have gained a new platform to broaden their IPL marketing campaigns, though YouTube and IPL have made it quite clear that there will be only a limited number of sponsor options available all through the tournament. A huge advantage for advertisers is that they are able to advertise on the YouTube home page as well as on the live stream page. They can also stream video ads during the match itself.

The various video streams that can be sponsored and advertised in include live matches, repeat broadcasts of matches, as well as various highlights and clips available on YouTube.

IPL on social networks

The IPL has touched just about every channel of communication this season, from the internet to your mobile phone. Social networking takes the fans' point of view into consideration and helps them directly interact with their favorite teams. You can visit the official Facebook and Twitter pages of the IPL and get to know more about the tournament. The discussion board on the IPL website also gives you a chance to interact with other fans as well as the administrators.

To know more about the IPL–Google tie-up, we spoke to Mr Gautam Anand, Director, Content Partnership-Asia Pacific, Google.

Will the YouTube broadcasts be in HD as well?

We already have HD quality videos available on YouTube. For IPL, we'll be trying to offer the most optimal user experience. So it will definitely be high quality.

Tell us more about the ‘Youtube View’ feature.

This is the first time we are trying this out. There will be a unique feed, which will only be available on YouTube. The working title is the 'YouTube fun feed' and this will offer a picture-in-picture experience. Users will be able to enjoy exclusive content, which will include special interviews with captains, behind the scenes footage, post match parties, etc. The idea is to offer interesting content which won't be available on any other medium.

Is ‘Youtube View’ anything like the Spyder Camera view?

This is still being worked out, so we can’t comment on it.

Will there be lower quality versions in YouTube video streams for those with slower connections?
The objective is to offer maximum users the optimal viewing experience of IPL on YouTube. We are aware of the infrastructure challenges, so we are doing everything we can to offer a smooth viewing experience. In India, YouTube already has over 10 million unique users, which is a big number, so we are very optimistic about the response for this initiative.

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