NEW YORK (AP) — NBC Sports and Yahoo are taking on the crowded sports media landscape with a partnership that fills in gaps for both companies.
NBC brings video and big-name broadcasters and Yahoo adds college coverage and fantasy games in the agreement announced Sunday. They hope their strengths will complement each other and attract more eyes to both as they vie with ESPN and other outlets for multimedia sports supremacy.
"It's just a natural fit," said Rick Cordella, senior vice president and general manager for digital media with NBC Sports Group.
Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Group will maintain separate websites and newsrooms, but will work together on news and events coverage online and on the air.
Yahoo has looked to expand its reach in the last couple of years with partnerships with TV networks. The company had done smaller deals with NBC Sports in the past, and in June it combined with another NBCUniversal property — CNBC — for financial news. Yahoo also has an agreement with ABC News, but Cordella didn't expect any significant conflicts when the worlds of news and sports collide as they frequently do.
For Yahoo, the deal gives the website a major boost in its ability to offer video, especially live sports. It will link to the NBC Sports Live Extra video player, where fans can watch live streams of the network's NFL game on Sunday night and the NHL game of the week, when the league resolves its labor dispute. Yahoo and NBC also will develop online video programs that will appear on both websites and include notable names from NBC's lineup such as announcer Bob Costas and former NFL coach Tony Dungy.
"There's a lot of yin and yang to it," Cordella said of how the two companies' fortes will mesh together.
For NBC, the agreement greatly expands its college and recruiting coverage for NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports Regional Networks through Yahoo's Rivals.com. Yahoo Sports also has drawn attention for its coverage of a handful of recent college sports scandals.