YouTube nets NHL highlights

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YouTube and the NHL have struck a deal that will provide users of the viral video site access to highlights of NHL regular-season games on the Web.

The partnership, in which the NHL will provide daily short-form content to YouTube for the 2006-07 season beginning this month, allows access to the video within 24 hours of the original broadcast and offers other on- and off-the-ice footage.

It marks the first such content agreement between a professional U.S. sports league and YouTube.

"Today's agreement demonstrates how major sports leagues are realizing the powerful benefits YouTube offers in terms of growing their audience and creating a new channel for generating revenue," YouTube vp content Kevin Donahue said.

Through the deal, the NHL, which also will have its own brand channel at www.youtube.com/NHL, can use YouTube's "Claim Your Content" program, a content-identification and reporting system that allows the league to identify and protect its copyrighted material. The league also will have the option to remove content from the site or allow it to remain and share revenue from the accompanying advertising.
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