I’m writing my next weekly column today, which given the way I work means I’m spending a lot of time procrastinating. So I’m reading the sports blog Deadspin, and come across a reference to the amazing finish of the Division II men’s basketball championship game between Winona State and Barton (Barton came from seven points behind with 45 seconds left to win). The embedded video doesn’t seem to work, so I go to the site Deadspin got it from, and it doesn’t work there, either. Then I head to YouTube, search on “Winona Barton,” and am immediately pointed to several videos of the amazing finish. None of them will load, and when I see that a commenter on one of them says to “enjoy the video before CBS takes it down,” I head over to the CBS Sports Website.
There I quickly find a page of college basketball videos, but they all appear to be from the Division I tourney, and I can’t find any way to search them. So I use the main search bar on the site to search for “Winona State video,” and am steered toward an AP story on the game. I can’t see any video link at first, but finally notice, among the tiny headlines along the right side of the page, a link to “Video: Wild finish.”
I click on that, and it appears to bring me back to the main college hoops video page. I start scrolling through the videos, find nothing but Division I stuff, and am about to give up when I finally notice that below the video screen–and invisible before I started scrolling down the page–was a “playlist” that listed the NCAA Division II Championship. I clicked play, and finally, after sitting through an ad for slingbox, got the video, which after a bunch of seemingly random brief clips from earlier in the game, showed me the finish. It was pretty amazing.
Anyway, I don’t want people to steal stuff that CBS paid to produce. And I really didn’t mind watching the ad that preceded the game video. But what possible purpose did it serve for CBS to make it so hard for me to find the thing? And why in the world doesn’t CBS let people embed its clip–which has advertising already built into it–on their blogs? In short, why won’t CBS let people help other people find its content? There’s no good reason that I can think of, other than the force of pre-Internet habit, which is why I tend to be so down on Big Media’s attempts to fight the likes of YouTube.