From Paid Content:
Why is this a big deal? By itself it isn't. But what it hints at is something potentially huge: the Long Tail of global audiences for regional content. In sports, news and entertainment we're shifting away from thinking only about concentrated audiences in one geography to thinking about distributed audiences around the world.
One country's hits are another country's niches. In Japan Anime and Manga are mainstream; here in the United States they're niche. Telenovelas are mainsteam in Latin America, but niche elsewhere. And then there's that whole soccer thing, which is seemingly mainstream everywhere but the US, where outside of World Cup time it can hardly be found on TV at all.
Take cricket. It's huge in Commonwealth countries, as well as the Subcontinent and the rest of the former British Empire. In India, Pakistan, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand the the UK, all the big cricket matches are broadcast live on TV. Elsewhere they're virtually impossible to find. According to the economics of broadcast TV, this makes sense: you can only devote your scarce airwaves to content of mass appeal. But there are millions of cricket fans outside of those few concentrated markets. And they're as eager to watch live (or even recorded) cricket matches as their home-bound countrymen. Now, thanks to streaming web video, they can.
There are about 25 million people in the Indian Diaspora, most of whom are in countries that don't broadcast cricket on TV. Think of them as the Cricket Diaspora, a distributed audience of potentially immense scale. The same for the Rugby Diaspora, the Soccer Diaspora, the Sumo Diaspora and so on. Then turn the tables and do the same for the potential global audience for US sports: the Football Diaspora, the Baseball Diaspora the Basketball Diaspora. Then extend that to news, TV shows, music and more. See what I mean?
Today, as more and more TV migrates from the scheduled world of live broadcast to the on-demand world of streaming Web video, we're about to enter an era where distributed markets are as good as concentrated ones. Long Tail video will reunite disaporas through their common culture, even if they are seen as a niche culture in the world around them. We already see this in the rise of Latino radio in the US; soon that will extend to every other immigrant culture, here and abroad. We often think of the Long Tail as a force of fragmentation, but it can be a force of unification for the already-fragmented, too.