Night Light | Future of Sports

Where Will we Watch Sports?

I continue to think that sports are very underserved on YouTube. I keep up with sports channels on the rise, but the space hasn’t evolved as quickly as I thought it would. In terms of live sports, right now on YouTube it’s only NFL Sunday Ticket and what YouTube TV offers. NFL Sunday Ticket had more subscribers on YouTube than DirecTV and 8 million people watched the Super Bowl on YouTube TV. We’ve heard rumors that the NBA and NHL are having ongoing conversations with YouTube about live sports rights, and I would imagine that the platform will continue to bid or try to acquire other sports.

Still not over 322K people watching Pat on draft day.

Sports content is wide open.

I looked at all the sports channels on Tubular Labs last week because I was curious who the big sports channels were - it’s a wide open playing field. I’m not saying you should start making content like Jesser (IRL content), but everything from sports news, challenge videos, and live shows are underserved on the platform.

It’s not too late for me to join the WWE.

Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of Deestroying and Maven. If you haven’t seen Maven’s channel, it’s all about the inside secrets of the WWE - Fake chairs, tables, how everything happens; he explains it all on the channel. It’s the content I’ve always wanted as a wrestling fan. There’s a big opportunity to create content about wrestling and UFC. I don’t know why we’re not seeing more channels like this.

Pat McAfee

It’s obvious that Pat McAfee has done it better than anyone else, he’s running an absolute masterpiece of a playbook for what sports content should look like. 322k people were watching his live coverage during the NFL draft (1.7M total views). The NFL didn’t even give him access to the draft or updated photos, but the majority of people were watching his stream. His daily show (also simulcasted on ESPN) averages between 60-80K depending on the time of day.

Give him the chair!

The big takeaway

I’d anticipate that we'll see more live shows on YouTube popping up by the end of the year. If everything plays out as I expect, with NBA, MLB, and NFL games all available on YouTube/YouTube TV, if you’re a creator, you should really be thinking about how to take advantage of that cultural shift in where we’re watching live sports. If you’re watching an NBA game on YouTube, you’re more than likely going to see suggested videos from Jesser when it’s over. Sports are undervalued and should be a focus for creators.

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