YouTube live: Public access meets old school ESPN, but potential abounds

YouTube has launched its grand live TV experiment and it works well, but what you see today is a far cry from what you'll see in the future.

YouTube has launched its grand live TV experiment and it works well, but what you see today is a far cry from what you'll see in the future.

Today, YouTube's live shows aren't exactly pulling in the masses. Rocketboom's live show had about 800 people watching. Howcast's primer on making films has 16 to 35 folks initially watching. But the technology worked well and show producers just seemed happy to be live---even though folks didn't seem to have a had a lot to say.

The actual content was a bit public access with a dash of early-day ESPN. Before ESPN was overly produced it used to have far-flung events that basically ate up time. However, the World's Strongest Man competition and Australian Rules Football was a bit addicting.

But you have to start somewhere. And YouTube's live effort today has a semi-pro feel to it. In the future, you can see news networks utilizing YouTube and potentially sports leagues. For instance, NBC last night had a live Webcast of the Cowboys-Redskins game. Various camera angles were featured and overall it was a good experience. For NBC there was a big Hyundai ad all over the place.

You can see a similar model evolving with YouTube live. It's doubtful that YouTube will garner NFL rights, but Major League Soccer and the National Hockey League could find Google's video giant handy. Toss in live local events and tailored ads and you can see more potential.

The thing that will put YouTube Live on the map will be a big news event. All you need is a PC and a Webcam and you're live. Just like Twitter has shown, the amateurs may broadcast the next big thing on YouTube. Live.