NFL Goes Bigger on YouTube: League Will Stream 96 Classic Games, More Highlights

Also under multiyear renewal, Google Search will highlight NFL content in results

Courtesy of NFL

The National Football League will flood YouTube with a host of new gridiron content under a multiyear renewal of their partnership — including, for the first time ever, full-length games.

Under the expanded pact, the NFL will post a total of 96 games to its official YouTube channel, comprising three of the most memorable games for each of the 32 clubs, prior to the start of the 2016-17 season. Moreover, the NFL will increase the number of in-game highlight clips it uploads to YouTube.

But YouTube still won’t have the sports behemoth’s crown jewels: live NFL game broadcasts. Last month, Twitter and the NFL unveiled an agreement under which the social service will distribute 10 Thursday night games next season worldwide via the Internet, with rights to splash the broadcast feeds from CBS and NBC across multiple devices.

Since the NFL channel launched in January 2015, the league’s content has generated nearly 900 million views. The channel provides game previews, in-game highlights, post-game recaps as well as clips featuring news, analysis, fantasy football advice, and other select content from NFL Media properties.

In addition, under the renewed YouTube-NFL pact, more of the league’s content will be available through Google Search, including game highlights uploaded to YouTube while games are in progress. A Google search for an NFL team will display official NFL video along with related news and information delivered in a dedicated box at the top of the search results. Kickoff time and broadcast information for every NFL game also will be prominently displayed in Google Search.

“This expansion of our partnership will make it easier than ever for the millions of highly engaged avid and casual fans on YouTube and Google to discover and access an even greater variety of some of the most valuable content in the sports and entertainment business,” said Hans Schroeder, the NFL’s senior VP of media strategy, business development and sales.

Added Jonathan Zepp, YouTube’s head of North America direct content partnerships: “YouTube has always been the home for sports highlights on the Internet, and we look forward to giving football fans around the globe access to even more of the content they love.”

Separately, last week the NBA announced a new deal with YouTube under which the basketball league will make all of its content on the site available to ad buyers under the Google Preferred program.