YouTube Confirms Live Cricket Deal; Not In U.S.; Big Ad Push

Google has confirmed yesterday’s reports – YouTube has inked rights from the big-money Indian Premier League’s (IPL) licensing partner Global Cricket Ventures to live-stream all 60 matches of the 45-day tournament, starting March 12.

It’s YouTube’s first deal to live-stream a big global sport – no mere domestic competition, IPL is the largest cricket tournament in the world, forecast to generate $1.6 billion over 10 years. But the deal will include a US blackout because “re-broadcast options will be available” will be available there, the announcement says.

Indeed, just as the International Olympic Committee hosted Beijing 2008 highlights on YouTube for countries which had no television deal, this looks like a gap-plugging, market-building deal, rather than a win of top-tier rights for Google (NSDQ: GOOG). DirecTV (NYSE: DTV) aired last year