NBC Sports, Yahoo in content deal

A partnership between NBC Sports and Yahoo is "just a natural fit" with a "lot of yin and yang to it," said Rick Cordella, senior vice president and general manager for digital media with NBC Sports Group.

According to details of the deal released in an Associated Press story, the two companies will maintain separate websites and newsrooms but will collaborate on news and events coverage both in the online and on-air space. That means Yahoo will have access to NBC Sports' announcers and NBC will get Yahoo's college and fantasy games expertise. Combined, the story said, the pair hope to at least counterbalance sports juggernaut ESPN.

"We think our readers will love the result," Ken Fuchs, vice president of Yahoo Global Media and leader of Yahoo Sports and Games, said in the story.

This isn't the first time Yahoo has set something up with Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA)-owned NBCUniversal. In June it cut a deal with CNBC for financial news. That's in addition to a deal the search engine made with ABC News.

The NBC Sports deal is significant for Yahoo because it helps in the drive to offer live video via the NBC Sports Live Extra video player for Sunday Night Football and, if it ever returns, the NHL. The story said the two will also develop online video programs to appear on both websites and include NBC Sports broadcasters like Bob Costas and Tony Dungy.

For NBC, the deal fills a "hole" in college football coverage, Cordella said. It's also expected to drive audience from Yahoo Sports to NBC Sports' website.

Interestingly, the deal does not include NBC Sports' crown jewel, the Olympics, but Cordella said in the story that the two companies would evaluate this and might add some or all of that coverage later.

For more:
- the Associated Press reported this story

Related articles:
Yahoo! grabs online video chatter OnTheAir
Yahoo teams with ABC News for original digital programming