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NBC Sports partners with Yahoo for content

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POSTED December 9, 2012 10:08 p.m.

NEW YORK (AP) — NBC Sports Group and Yahoo announced a content and promotional deal on Sunday that combines the website’s sports reporting, college recruitment content and fantasy sports material with its partner’s digital assets and television access.

Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Group will maintain separate websites and newsrooms, but will work together on news and events coverage online and on the air.

“The complementary nature of this partnership is unmatched in digital sports media,” said Mark Lazarus, chairman of the NBC Sports Group. “Through our growing television and digital platforms, the Yahoo Sports partnership dramatically expands the digital reach of NBC Sports around the biggest sporting events. We are committed to continually growing this alliance for the benefit of both parties, our sports-property partners, and, most importantly, sports fans.”

The agreement gives NBC Sports access to Yahoo Sports’ top reporters and extensive fantasy sports offerings, while the website raises its profile as it vies with ESPN.com and other locations for online sports supremacy.

Here are some of the key features of the deal:

—Yahoo Sports will link to and promote NBC Sports Live Extra video player, giving fans access to live streams of the network’s NFL game on Sunday night and the NHL game of the week, when the league resolves its labor dispute.

—Yahoo’s fantasy sports platform will become the exclusive partner of NBC Sports’ Rotoworld, a fantasy sports news and information site.

—Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Group will develop online video programs that will appear on both websites and include notable names such as NBC broadcaster Bob Costas and former NFL coach Tony Dungy.

—Rivals.com, which focuses on college recruiting, will play a key role in coverage of college sports for NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports Regional Networks.

Ken Fuchs, vice president of Yahoo Global Media and head of Yahoo Sports and Games, thinks the agreement will produce more comprehensive options for fans.

“Passionate fans need news and analysis about their favorite teams in real time, and they want access to that information no matter where they are,” he said in a release. “We’re thrilled to combine Yahoo!’s fantasy offerings, product innovation and editorial authority with NBC’s broadcast coverage of live sports events and award-winning on-air talent. We think our users will love the result.”

Yahoo stock has been languishing for years, but lately has been rising. Investors are betting its new CEO, Marissa Mayer, can engineer a turnaround. Mayer, a former Google executive hired in July, has vowed to fix up the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company by improving online services and rolling out more products tailored for smartphones and tablet computers. Mayer is the fifth CEO of Yahoo in five years.

The company is one of the Internet’s top destinations but it’s been losing out to rivals like search leader Google and the social network Facebook Inc. in the competition for advertisers.

The company has made a handful of small deals in under Mayer’s leadership, mainly to acquire personnel from small tech companies. Yahoo has also been buying back more of its own stock since she took the helm.

NBC is owned by Comcast Corp., the nation’s largest provider of cable TV and Internet services.

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