Tuesday, March 20, 2007

YouTube.com: Maybe NASCAR Images Has Dial-Up?

This post comes on the heels of my weekly surfing session through the NASCAR clips available on YouTube.com, the video hosting website. Apparently, the gang at NASCAR Images in Charlotte, NC is still using dial-up. That is the only possible explanation of why hundreds of video clips using copyrighted footage from NASCAR Digital Entertainment are still being posted on YouTube.com on a weekly basis.

Any user with an interface between his cable TV DVR and his desktop PC can edit their own race highlights, or simply upload a large chunk of video and audio directly to the Internet. What gives? This same footage is priced out of this world for local, regional, and non-NASCAR owned national TV sports shows.

In the television world, getting five minutes of quality edited race footage from NASCAR Images would set someone back about five house payments. How then, can any twelve year old kid upload the finish of the Atlanta NEXTEL Cup race to YouTube.com for global distribution with no problems? Am I missing something here?

In addition to the large chunks of footage, there are an amazing number of edited pieces that have a theme. Greatest crashes, historic footage, NASCAR's biggest crash in history, Jeff Gordon highlights, Tony Stewart's winning year, and the beat goes on. With millions of dollars invested by Fox and NASCAR in establishing NASCAR Images as the footage clearinghouse of the sport, someone has been asleep at the switch in the world of Internet video.

Why would someone watch Victory Lane on SPEED when it will be posted on YouTube in about an hour? Why watch the race when the highlights will be on the computer later that night? All of the post-race interviews, the edited highlights of each weekend's race, its all there...and its all free.

Major League Baseball, the NFL, the PGA Tour, and the other professional sports organizations have companies that handle their footage. We all know NFL Films, many of us know PGA Tour Productions, and several of us know NASCAR Images first hand. With over a billion dollars in domestic and international television rights fees being paid by the NASCAR TV partners, shouldn't someone at NASCAR Images get broadband and sign-up for YouTube.com? Maybe they would discover why the amount of NASCAR programming being produced by NASCAR Images has plummeted this year.
It seems totally ironic that NASCAR Images has a website where you must pay for NASCAR footage by the second, and with one click of the mouse the same footage is being played on YouTube.com for the five millionth time. All because twelve year old Jimmy knows how to upload, and no one at NASCAR Images cares.