The World Cup starts up again this afternoon, when Mexico plays Cameroon. And if you go to Google looking for a highlight video during the match, the world’s biggest search engine won’t show you one.
But as part of a new deal, Google will direct U.S. Web searchers to ESPN, which is showing all the games and providing in-game highlights as fast as it can get them up.
While Google has integrated other companies into its products before this is the first time Google has sent searchers to a third party it has a commercial partnership with. It’s both a novel and a commonsense move.
The novel part is straightforward. If you search for other sports events or things that are on TV, Google will already tell you where you can find them. But for World Cup queries, Google will be more hands-on: Google’s “in-line” search results will feature a screenshot taken from ESPN’s in-game footage and will link searchers directly to ESPN’s ESPNfc soccer site.
And if your query is specifically about trying to watch the game live, Google will link you to WatchESPN, the streaming video app/service ESPN offers to pay-TV subscribers.