Yahoo strikes Premier League highlights deal
Yahoo has struck a deal with the English Premier League to show highlights from next season’s games.
Beginning next season, Yahoo will offer five-minute highlights of every match on Yahoo.co.uk. These clips will be made available at midnight on Sunday for weekend fixtures, and midnight the same day for midweek games.
The deal was announced in a low-key press conference in the Tate Modern in London, and was marked by the presence of Carol Bartz, the chief executive of Yahoo who took charge of the company in January 2009.
In typically combative mood, Bartz claimed that the Premier League deal was indicative of the company’s attempt to make Yahoo “the centre of people’s online lives” and that “similar deals would follow”.
Despite Yahoo’s decision to farm out search to Microsoft – which will take effect in the UK in early 2011 – the Yahoo chief executive said the company wasn’t giving up on the business and actually expected search traffic to grow this quarter.
The topic soon switched to Bartz’s tenure in charge of Yahoo, most especially comments she made in January that she’d award herself a B- for her first year in charge.
“We’d just gone through a year of duress with the Microsoft hostile [takeover],” she said. “Yahoo was a company not really able to speak out loud. That’s my nature, to say where we’re going and what our mission is.”
100 people could have done better
“There’s a 100 people who could have done better,” she joked, when asked if anybody else could have done a better job in the circumstances. “You have to look at it in the context of the economy, and the Microsoft deal.
“I do wish I’d built a team faster. I had to really remake the entire exec team and until that was complete I couldn’t get started refreshing every aspect of the company.”
As the Q&A session wound to a close, Bartz was asked whether the pioneering Yahoo of old – which nurtured sites such as Flickr – would even return. “I reject and resent the idea that you’ll never see innovation from Yahoo,” she said.