In a move that sees Yahoo! become even less of a search engine and more of an entertainment portal, the once search leader has signed a deal that will see it screening highlights of the English Premier League next season.
Yahoo! has secured the UK online rights to Premier League highlights, including the rights to dish out to third parties as it sees fit, until 2013. Beginning when the new season starts in August, after the World Cup in South Africa, Yahoo! will show five minute highlights of each Premier League game.
Yahoo.com has a similar deal in the USA with the rights to show highlights of basketball and ice hockey matches. The current owners of the rights, Virgin, will see their deal come to an end as the season draws to a close next weekend.
The deal shouldn’t affect the TV highlights programs screened by Sky and the BBC as Yahoo! cannot make its online highlights available until midnight on Sunday following weekend fixtures. Highlights of midweek games will be available on the same day however.
The Premier League’s Richard Scudamore commented:
The way fans access Barclays Premier League action is growing ever more diverse and sophisticated.
The online highlights package is an important medium for supporters of all our clubs to be able to follow match action.
So from next season you’ll be able to see scenes like Fernando Torres (pictured) skipping past Manchester United’s Vidic at Old Trafford to score, as he did last season in the 4-1 victory for Liverpool.