Cable Technology Feature Article
Saturday Night Live Looks to Make the Move to Yahoo!
By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer
Decades of memorable characters, careers launched, careers ended. Memories of Saturday Night Live go back a long way for a lot of people, and today, there's about to be a whole new clearinghouse for Saturday Night Live content. Yesterday evening, Yahoo! put out the word through an entry on Yahoo! Yodel, written by no less than Marissa Mayer herself, that Saturday Night Live's massive 38-year run would be coming to Yahoo! on an exclusive basis.
The agreement with Broadway Video allows Yahoo! exclusive access to Saturday Night Live content, for both the massive 38-year archive and selected clips from the current season. The content isn't currently available for viewing yet, but Yahoo! plans to make an announcement later when the content is ready for fans of the long-running sketch comedy series to show up and view.
This is a coup for Yahoo!, of course, which has been eager to find means to bring in users. Augmenting the video available from the site, especially with a perennial favorite like Saturday Night Live. Even those who don't much care for the show now often find a lot of laughs still to be had in the earlier stuff, and a show that goes back 38 years will often find a lot of cultural touchstones to take advantage of, as well as personally-identifiable memories of staying up late to watch the Coneheads or Wayne's World, or those over-excitable and largely unsanctioned Spartan cheerleaders Craig and Arianna.
Of course, those who wonder what will be happening to the other sites that currently boast Saturday Night Live content aren't wondering without cause. Currently, Netflix has a substantial volume of Saturday Night Live episodes spanning five decades, from the 1970s to the 2010s. However, these are somewhat incomplete episodes, as the musical guests are seldom in attendance, and some sketches have been removed. Checking with customer service suggested these weren't set to expire in the near future, though it could be an issue of completeness.
Additionally, Hulu (News - Alert), which likewise boasts a large amount of Saturday Night Live content in both clips and full episodes, shows no signs of having its selection expire to make room for Yahoo!, though this may just be a lack of update on Hulu's part. Indeed, in both cases, it may well be that the offerings will be pulled when Yahoo! is ready to start.
While its exclusivity may not prove completely exclusive in the end, it's looking like, for Saturday Night Live purists, Yahoo! will offer the most complete experience yet.
This poses an interesting new dynamic in terms of streaming video. It's a safe bet that plenty of purists out there will make their way to Yahoo! for a shot at a perfect archive, even if there are lesser equivalents available elsewhere. Yahoo! could certainly use a way to bring more users into the fold, using all of its other services as well. A good dollop of streaming video – especially streaming video that can't be had elsewhere – would be a good way to do it.
Edited by Alisen Downey