ESPN has launched a channel at YouTube, but, inexplicably, has disabled embedding. I’ve praised ESPN for their willingness to allow embeds of their videos from their own site, so I’m not quite getting the logic of ESPN prohibiting sharing those very same videos from YouTube.
Traditional media are similar to professional sports leagues in that they have, for the most part (ESPN is an exception…sorta), tried to clamp down on their content spreading outside of their own controlled online properties. I’ve discussed this issue in a post on the relaunch of NFL.com.
But sports content will find a way outside of controlled domains because sports fans are just that, fanatical. They want to talk about their sports and they do so around content.
It is interesting watching how the professional sports leagues’ desire for control is being undermined by their core content itself, their athletes. Slowly but surely, athletes themselves are taking control of their audiences through social media channels.
We’ve seen one dramatic example of this when Minnesota’s own Kevin Love broke the news of then-Minnesota Timberwolves’ GM Kevin McHale’s firing through his Twitter account.
Here’s an ESPN clip that I had to get from ESPN.com, not their new YouTube channel (even though it was available through YouTube), of Kevin Love discussing his Twittering: