Just three weeks ago, Yahoo!
Adding content from 60 Minutes, an iconic name in investigative reporting, is a positive sign, since it shows that Yahoo! is committed to carrying out its new vision. Further, it's a continuation of a trend to keep its news offerings fresh and unique. Facing tough competition in its news division from Google
Still, when viewed in its entirety, the deal offers somewhat less than meets the eye. Yahoo! might get some added traffic from the arrangement, but an important loophole limits the upside.
As part of the partnership, 60 Minutes content will be sprinkled throughout Yahoo! and also will be made available on a "microsite" with only 60 Minutes programming. The microsite will carry some never-before-seen 60 Minutes footage and will pair that material with interactive features such as maps and blogs.
Yahoo! will have a richer offering thanks to the 60 Minutes connection, but one line in the press release shouldn't be missed: "60 Minutes content will continue to be available at CBSNews.com." That Yahoo! isn't the only place on the Web to find 60 Minutes video definitely makes the deal less exciting. Granted, the microsite extras should bring in a few people, but the attraction will probably be limited to news junkies.
It's not surprising that CBS was unwilling to hand Yahoo! exclusive online access to 60 Minutes. CBS's live Internet broadcast of March Madness shows that it's interested in staking out its place in Web video. The success of that event, which at 14 million streams brought in what CBS believes was the biggest live Internet viewing audience ever, likely means that CBS will keep the choicest Web video projects for itself.
The interest of traditional media players like CBS in Web video will only make Yahoo!'s alliance-making more complicated. These deals are still worthwhile, but Yahoo! may be able to make more of an impact with user-generated content.
For more on Yahoo! and Web programming:
Fool contributor Brian Gorman is a freelance writer in Chicago. He does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.