Capitals

NBC Sports partners with Yahoo for content deal

NBC Sports partners with Yahoo for content deal

NEW YORK (AP) NBC Sports and Yahoo are taking on the crowded sports media landscape with a partnership that fills in gaps for both companies.

NBC brings video and big-name broadcasters and Yahoo adds college coverage and fantasy games in the agreement announced Sunday. They hope their strengths will complement each other and attract more eyes to both as they vie with ESPN and other outlets for multimedia sports supremacy.

``It's just a natural fit,'' said Rick Cordella, senior vice president and general manager for digital media with NBC Sports Group.

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.

Yahoo has looked to expand its reach in the last couple of years with partnerships with TV networks. The company had done smaller deals with NBC Sports in the past, and in June it combined with another NBCUniversal property - CNBC - for financial news. Yahoo also has an agreement with ABC News, but Cordella didn't expect any significant conflicts when the worlds of news and sports collide as they frequently do.

For Yahoo, the deal gives the website a major boost in its ability to offer video, especially live sports. It will link to the NBC Sports Live Extra video player, where fans can watch 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 and NBC also will develop online video programs that will appear on both websites and include notable names from NBC's lineup such as announcer Bob Costas and former NFL coach Tony Dungy.

``There's a lot of yin and yang to it,'' Cordella said of how the two companies' fortes will mesh together.

For NBC, the agreement greatly expands its college and recruiting coverage for NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports Regional Networks through Yahoo's Rivals.com. Yahoo Sports also has drawn attention for its coverage of a handful of recent college sports scandals.

``We had a hole there,'' Cordella said. ``We didn't necessarily cover colleges as well as Yahoo and some of our other peers.''

And the deal can help drive Yahoo Sports' massive audience to NBCSports.com, a relative newcomer to the online sports arena.

The agreement also combines the fantasy news of NBC Sports' Rotoworld with Yahoo's extensive offerings of fantasy sports games.

``We think our users will love the result,'' said Ken Fuchs, vice president of Yahoo Global Media and head of Yahoo Sports and Games.

The deal for now does not include the Olympics, for which the two websites had competed for eyeballs in the past. Cordella said that as the two sides evaluate the success of this initial agreement, they might later add a partnership for other areas such as the Olympics and radio.

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 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.

---

Jay Cohen reported on this story from Chicago.

Quick Links

5 reasons the Caps beat the Lightning in Game 6

5 reasons the Caps beat the Lightning in Game 6

After losing three straight, the Capitals battled back in Game 6 on Monday. With their 3-0 win, Washington forced the Eastern Conference Final into a decisive Game 7 on Wednesday.

Here is how the Caps did it.

1. Braden Holtby matched Andrei Vasilevskiy save for save

Andrei Vasilevskiy was just as great in this game as he was in the three previous, but one of the major differences in this one was that Holtby was just as good. He may not have been tested as much (Vasilevskiy made 32 saves, Holtby 24), but he was big when the team needed.

In the second period with the scored tied at 0, Holtby made one of the most critical saves perhaps of the entire season when he denied Anthony Cirelli with the toe on a 2-on-1. When the Caps took the lead, Holtby really shut the door in the third period with 10 saves to cap off what was his fifth career playoff shutout and first shutout of the entire season.

2. T.J. Oshie’s timely goal

Over halfway into the game, it looked like it was just going to be one of those nights. Caps fans know it well by now. Washington outplays their opponent, they get chance after chance and develop a whopping advantage in shots, but they run into a hot goalie and a random play suddenly turns into a goal for the other team, game and season over.

Vasilevskiy was on his way to having perhaps his best performance of the series. Considering how he played in the three games prior to Game 6, that’s saying something. The Caps were doing everything right, but he continued to make save after save. Then on the power play in the second period, John Carlson struck the inside of the post, the horn went off and the roar of the crowd gave way to dismay as the referee waved his arms to indicate there was no goal and play continued. Just seconds later, T.J. Oshie gave the Caps the 1-0 lead.

You have to wonder if doubt was starting to creep into the back of the minds of the players when that puck struck the post as they wondered what else they had to do to beat Vasilevskiy. Luckily, that feeling didn’t last long.

3. Special teams

Braydon Coburn’s tripping penalty in the second period gave Washington its only power play of the night and its first since the second period of Game 4. They had to make it count given how well Vasilveskiy was playing and they did.

Washington now has a power play goal in each of their three wins against the Lightning and no power play goals in their three losses. So yeah, it’s significant.

Tampa Bay had two opportunities of their own, but Washington managed to kill off both power plays in the penalty kill’s best performance of the series.

4. Washington’s physical game plan

On paper, the Lightning are better than the Caps in most categories. One area in which Washington has the edge, however, is physical play and it was clear very early that they intended to use that to their advantage in Game 6. Tampa Bay was pushed around and they seemed to struggle to recover.

Ovechkin was a one-man wrecking ball out there hitting everything that moved. The energy he brought with every hit was palpable and both the team and the crowd fed on it.

Washington was credited with 39 hits on the night compared to Tampa Bay’s 19. Ovechkin had four of those as did Nicklas Backstrom while Devante Smith-Pelly contributed five and Tom Wilson and Brooks Orpik each led the team with six.

5. Fourth line dagger

Tampa Bay’s fourth line was the story of Game 5, but Washington’s fourth line sealed the deal on Monday with its third period goal.

Chandler Stephenson beat out an icing call, forcing Braydon Coburn to play the puck along the wall. Jay Beagle picked it up, fed back to Stephenson who backhanded a pass for the perfect setup for Devante Smith-Pelly.

Smith-Pelly scored seven goals in the regular season. He now has four in the playoffs.

MORE CAPITALS STORIES:

Quick Links

Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

usatsi_10847206.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.