YouTube signs deal with Spain’s Professional Football League
Staff Reporter | On 19, May 2016
YouTube has signed a deal to stream games from Spain’s Professional Football League (LFP).
The video site is increasingly tapping into the live sports market, with a recent deal signed with BT Sport to stream both the UEFA Champions League and Europa League final. Now, YouTube is building on that with the rights to show several games from the LFP World Challenge, Spain’s top-tier pre-season tour. YouTube will offer live matches, as well as highlights packages and behind-the-scenes content.
Teams set to stream this summer include Real Sociedad and SD Eibar and RCD Espanyol, each of whom are travelling the world to play international opponents. You can expect to see USA’s San Jose Earthquakes against Real Sociedad, and Philadelphia Fury against Eibar and more.
BT Sport will stream the Champions League final for free on YouTube
12th May 2016
BT Sport will stream the the Champions League final for free on YouTube.
The tournament final, which will see Real Madrid take on rivals Atletico Madrid on 28th May, will be available to watch online to anyone without the need to subscribe to BT Sport. The UEFA Europa League final (Liverpool versus Sevilla) will also be streamed on YouTube on 18th May.
The plans arrive as BT Sport has faced criticism for its poor viewing figures of football matches on its pay TV service – despite a hefty sum paid by the telecommunications giant to keep the television rights to both European tournaments away from pay TV rival Sky. While Sky has established a monopoly in the UK’s premium sports TV sector, the younger BT Sport service has struggled to make such an impact – over five million homes now subscribe to the channels and the service is available in over 27,000 commercial premises. Sky, on the other hand, has around 12 million customers in the UK, according to its 2015 annual report.
BT’s plan to team up with YouTube is a big move to try and boost its take-up across the country. It follows a similar partnership in the USA between Twitter and the NFL, which will live-stream games on the social network across the world in the coming season.
“Neither final has ever been made available for free on [YouTube] before. This innovative approach allows BT Sport to showcase its European coverage to a huge audience and maximise the numbers who can tune in,” says BT.
The UEFA finals will also stream on BT’s Freeview BT Sport Showcase channel, as well as on BT.com. BT Sport subscribers will be able to watch both finals live on BT Sport Europe, BT Sport UHD and the BT Sport App, which provides extra statistics, angles and exclusive content.
The broadcaster’s expansion plans will not stop there: BT Sport has also signed new deals with EE, the UK’s biggest 4G mobile network provider (and part of BT Group), to introduce a new offer for those on 4GEE pay monthly mobile plans – more details will be revealed in the summer – and TalkTalk, to make BT Sport available to TalkTalk TV homes from next season on a monthly rolling contract..
John Petter, chief executive of BT Consumer, comments: “We’ve always said we wanted to give top quality sport back to the people and making the UEFA Champions League and Europa League finals free to everyone in the UK does this in a big way. We’re also bringing BT Sport to a new generation of younger sports fans who view their entertainment online, through social media and on their mobile devices. We plan to make these finals the most social sports broadcast ever, with lots of exciting content in the build-up and on the night across YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Vine.”
Stephen Nuttall, YouTube’s Senior Director in EMEA, comments: “At YouTube, we love football and we’re thrilled to give UK supporters more ways to watch BT Sport’s fantastic live coverage of these two massive games. Fans today expect quality content on every screen and this partnership enables just that. Football is YouTube’s biggest sport; we’re host to over 300 football clubs, 37 leagues and channels from BT Sport to UEFA.”
The news comes as BT Sport expands its range of live Barclays Premier League matches to a high of 42 for next season, with matches at a more popular timeslot of 5.30pm on Saturdays.