YouTube has had a long affiliation with sports ever since its inception. Whether this has been through sports highlights videos or people attempting to hit the crossbar, they’ve occupied a large portion of YouTube traffic. In the modern age as viewing habits have become more centered online, sports broadcasters have started to pay more attention to how they can engage these viewers with more creative video content. Further on in this blog we look closely at the YouTube sports streaming, the origins and the future
Sports such as Formula One, football and many others have started to host broadcasts on YouTube which are free to all. Although there is not much consistency on these being available it is clear the impact they have surrounding engaging fans as well as potential fans. For example, the Eifel Grand Prix in October of 2020 gathered around 1.7 million viewers for the live race. This of course engages people who are interested in Formula One and may not have access to a sports channel to watch but also can create buzz for those who only have a passing interest. Through publishing video content related to the race on their YouTube channel they were able to generate interest which led to a massive increase in subscribers as well as channel views.
Through engaging these passing viewers, these organisations seek to influence more people to get involved with sports. Especially with the pandemic, teams are struggling to connect with fans when they cannot attend games so the online landscape makes an ideal supplement. By giving fans an online experience of the club they are able to keep their club values at the front of their mind and showing them how the club is adapting through these changes. This also helps keep the club in touch with its fan base which is, most of all, their priority.
YouTube advertisers are also tapping in to how the rise of this style of streaming can reach larger audiences. Through broadcasting special events to wider audiences, you can attract more users as there are relatively less barriers of entry which makes it easier to develop an interest. The 2019 Champions League gathered nearly 5 million viewers on YouTube alone. Moreover, networks with rights to sports events such as BT and Sky have started streaming posts and uploading highlight content to engage these YouTube audiences.
As more people buy into new technology, streaming online content to their TVs is becoming almost a daily occurrence and thus it is inevitable that sports streaming will develop on platforms like YouTube. The infrastructure of which helps sports teams to understand their engagement through being able to join conversations with fans as well as provide them with online video content to hold their interest. How has your sports team tried to engage fans online? If you have recently become interested in a sport or sports team, did YouTube provide content that increased your interest?