YouTube Dives Into Sports Channels

Bleachers-ReportThe YouTube subscription service Google won't talk about -- yet -- continues to grow with content. On Wednesday, the site announced an extended lineup of sports channels, adding Bleacher Report, KickTV and The NOC to the content announced last month.

YouTube, the second-largest search engine on the Web, had little relevance to businesses until now. Video is still the medium used by consumers to watch short and long clips, along with researching products and services. This move promotes the potential for advertising.

YouTube promoted videos are probably the least-known and least-utilized video advertising solution that Google offers, but they work just like paid search, where an advertiser bids on search terms and places ads related to their video content next to search results. This works with professional content as well as user-generated content. Expect channels to spur this trend.

I had an opportunity to try the new interface on YouTube for Google TV last night. For sports fanatics, watching the channels on YouTube through the Google TV update should literally provide a thrill because it's so much easier to navigate through the videos and channels. Take Bleacher Report, for example, which will highlight the fun side of sports. This channel's flagship daily show "BR5" provides a focus on football with "NFLDraft 365" and its college football recruiting show "Full Ride." The documentary series "Why We Watch" offers stories with in-depth opinion and analysis of top athletes.

"Kick" is for soccer fans. On this show, international stars debate hot-button topics on The Mixer. The channel also offers content on "The Whip," among others. Then there's the NOC, a 24-hour channel devoted to athletes' lifestyles and comedy. Original shows include "Say What," a humorous take on what athletes say in social media. "The Ice Bucket" offers an inside look at how athletes unwind off the field. And "FaceOff" features athletes competing against celebrities and YouTube stars.

Last month, YouTube introduced Alli Sports, which takes viewers behind the curtain for a glimpse into the lives of the biggest and fastest-rising stars in sports, or news and highlights from the industry's most insightful analysts. Network A features personalities from the world of sports. Red Bull brings 13 original episodic series that chronicle competition and daily lives of the world’s best action sports athletes including urban mountain bikers and YouTube celebrities. And RIDE, a 24-hour channel devoted to the skateboarding lifestyle, will feature Tony Hawk, Skatepark of Tampa, Jamie Thomas, and Lance Krall, among others. 

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