Enriching Premier League coverage with YouTube

In early August, the Premier League (PL) announced that it had launched its own official YouTube channel.

So far, the channel has published goal compilation videos for fans of all PL clubs, tricks and skills videos, plus ‘Top 5’ moments from certain fixtures in the PL over the years. There also seems to be a healthy early mixture of archive footage from when the PL was formed in 1992 and highlights of this season’s matches.

But 2019 seems quite late for a brand the size of the PL to finally create its YouTube channel. Why the delay?

The channel attracted 150,000 subscribers within its first 48 hours. At the time of writing, there are over 350,000 people signed up to the PL YouTube channel.

Behind the scenes, there must be plenty of red tape for the PL and YouTube to operate within due to the astronomical broadcasting fees paid by the likes of Sky Sports and BT Sport for exclusive PL coverage in the UK.

The PL could take some pointers from the likes of LaLiga. The Spanish top-flight’s official YouTube page was created way back in 2006 as they embraced the idea of worldwide exposure and easy access for their fans. They now boast over 4.5 million subscribers on YouTube.

LaLiga’s content does seem to have influenced the PL as many of the themes running through the channels are very similar. LaLiga shows ‘Top Moments’ archive footage from previous LaLiga legends along with highlights of the most recent games.

LaLiga’s YouTube videos have been viewed over 1 billion times in the 13 years since the channel was launched. Just this past weekend, the highlights video of Barcelona’s 5-2 victory over Valencia has already amassed over 2.2 million views on YouTube.

Those kind of figures are still just a pipe dream for the PL channel but they will certainly be aiming for that kind of exposure once the channel has left its infancy stage.

Although it was created in May 2019, the PL didn’t officially launch the channel until August 6th, 2019. This was just three days before the new season kicked off with PL hysteria for the 2019/20 campaign at its most heightened state.

Announcing the channel, the PL statement read:

Football fans around the world can now enjoy the best of the Premier League’s content on YouTube.

The League’s official YouTube channel will host a range of exclusive and unique videos reflecting the exciting and competitive nature of the competition.

With the 2019/20 campaign starting on Friday, YouTube.com/PremierLeague will build excitement around the season’s fixtures, looking back at the best moments from previous meetings between teams.

They then went on to further highlight the extra content that would be available for all YouTube subscribers to the PL channel.

The channel will also tell the story of the Premier League using archive footage in new and compelling ways, providing thrilling highlights of the key players and matches in Premier League history.

Beyond the action on the pitch, the channel will provide a platform to showcase League and club initiatives and the excellent work conducted by club Academies and community teams.

There is huge potential for reaching new worldwide markets via YouTube for the PL. They just have to look at the likes of Liverpool (2.85M subscribers), Manchester City and Manchester United (both around 2M subscribers) to see the global reach the PL already has for football fans. Manchester United, in particular, will be of interest to the PL. The club only created its YouTube channel in early 2018, meaning they have reached that 2M figure in under two years.

If the PL can thread the thin line of keeping Sky Sports and BT Sport happy by not reducing the ‘value’ of their PL coverage while also being current enough to satisfy football fans around the world with its content output, then they will certainly be onto a winner. That won’t be easy but surely a brand such as the PL will have the best in the business on the job.