Bye-bye TV? YouTube debuts live streaming

September 13, 2010: 8:10 AM ET

The new service which debuts today could give cable TV's last real advantage, live news and sports, a run for its money.

You can already watch just about any TV show or movie out there on Hulu, iTunes, Netflix, Amazon (AMZN), YouTube or some other Internet site. Some are pay per view, while others use paid advertising or "commercials." Clearly the Internet has made the archives of pre-recorded video content a virtual catalog from which consumers can shop and buy or rent.

The one thing that the Internet hasn't quite mastered yet, however, is live events like news and sporting events. Companies like Qik, Ustream and a few others have done this on a small scale, but it hasn't hit the mainstream. Sporting events which have smaller disparate audiences have been one of the bigger draws, with sites like ESPN, MLB and the NFL offering feeds at a fee.

YouTube aims to change that this week with the announcement of YouTube Live, which it hopes to mainstream live video on the net:

Today and tomorrow, tune in as we open a new chapter of YouTube live streaming. Starting at 8:00 a.m. PT, we will begin a limited trial of a new live streaming platform in conjunction with four of our partners: HowcastNext New NetworksRocketboom and Young Hollywood.


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