Sports fans may flock to linear TV for the big games, but they also have a surprisingly huge appetite for off-air content from a variety of sources. YouTube, with a ton of upstart commentary and story-telling channels to cash in on, continues to fight for its share of consumers' eyes by redesigning youtube.com/sports.
The "/Sports experience," which is available via URL or through the Sports icon on the site, now includes a video carousel with top highlight reels. In addition to the typical trending and algorithmic picks and top stories, there are also sections featuring more highlights, live contests, and content direct from the athletes.
The new look is live on the web and mobile right now with TVs getting it later.
Speaking of TVs, ad buyers are also getting expanded opportunities through the YouTube Select program in reaching connected TVs: slots will open up in Australia, Canada, India, and Japan starting this year.
YouTube cites research house ISG in claiming that it ranks number one in sports content with U.S. viewers above cable TV and other platforms and that over the past year it has taken in 40% more hours of sports video uploads and has seen 65% more watch time go to those uploads.