YouTube Takes On NFL and Slew of Sports Content to Engage Fans

Sports content has been a major area of competition among Internet video platforms and the Alphabet-owned Web platform is picking up some extra content offerings for the National Football League (NFL).

It will give the NFL’s channel a boost and give YouTube users looking for football coverage a source to keep up with the action.

NFL YouTube screenschot

Extra content offerings: The NFL’s start page on YouTube

 

A multi-year contract between the NFL and YouTube will expand YouTube’s NFL channel offerings.

Currently NFL fans on YouTube can see game preview clips, highlights, post-game recaps, and clips featuring news, analysis and fantasy football advice.

With the current model the NFL raked in about one million subscribers but its content has earned almost 900 million views.

The numbers show that the NFL YouTube channel has a huge reach but YouTube and the NFL are looking to push engagement with its video content a step further.

Under the renewal the NFL YouTube channel will gain full length games for the first time just before the beginning of the season this year. The games that will be on YouTube will be three of the most memorable or historical matches from each of the 32 teams in the league.

In addition the NFL is increasing the number of game highlights it offers on YouTube while games are still live and YouTube’s NFL content will become more searchable within Google.

This means a Google search of an NFL team will bring up official NFL video such as that shown on the NFL’s official YouTube channel, as well as relevant news and information.

“This expansion of our partnership will make it easier than ever for the millions of highly engaged avid and casual fans on YouTube and Google to discover and access an even greater variety of some of the most valuable content in the sports and entertainment business,” said NFL SVP and media strategy, business development and sales Hans Schroeder.

Earlier in the month YouTube and the NBA expanded its partnership by making NBA videos searchable and viewable across the Google platform, not just within YouTube.

YouTube also recently partnered with Spain’s Liga Nacional de Futbol Profesional (LFP) to broadcast a number of live games this summer for free on YouTube.

The games to be broadcast will be played during the club’s pre-season tour the LFP World Challenge, but in addition to the games YouTube will offer highlights and behind-the-scenes footage.

BT Sport also announced that it (having exclusive UK broadcasting rights to the tournaments) would broadcast the final games from the Champions League and Europa League tournaments live on YouTube.

That will take place later this month.

The uptick in sports content on YouTube comes at an interesting time. YouTube is reportedly planning an Internet TV service in 2017; if a sports channel offering is included in the online TV plans the shift to offering more sports video via YouTube’s primary Web video business could be a strategy to condition more fans to go to YouTube for game highlights and coverage.

As of now YouTube doesn’t have the true golden ticket of sports, which is live game broadcasts (for US sports at least); Twitter recently won the NFL Thursday Night Football Internet streaming rights.

Every video platform is also looking for more viewer engagement and eye-balls. Sports and the dedicated fan bases that go with them are a surefire way to capture the attention of viewers, particularly the young ones who are largely digital-first viewers.

Sports video content is no joking matter in the video industry today and part-ners abroad are getting in on the US sports action. Canada’s BroadbandTV (BBTV) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) have joined forces to launch a new video network called NBA Playmakers.

In addition to the typical sports network fair that is game clips and highlights, interviews, commentary and so forth NBA Playmakers will feature content that is created by Millennial basketball enthusiasts.

The content will be available on a YouTube channel to be launched later this year and other platforms like nbaplaymakers.tv will distribute NBA Playmakers content as well.

The network is set to launch during the NBA Finals next month.

The NBA’s current YouTube channel is…

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