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SPL expands YouTube’s presence in football market

Wed 8th Aug 2012 | IT & Technology

The Scottish Premier League (SPL) has become the latest football competition to agree a partnership with YouTube after sealing a three-year deal with the video-sharing platform.

Tuesday’s agreement comes on the back of the SPL securing new domestic television rights deals with BSkyB and ESPN over the past week following the upheaval caused by Rangers’ liquidation and subsequent demotion to the Scottish Third Division.

The groundbreaking deal is a first for league football in the UK and will see the SPL’s official YouTube channel, ‘splofficial’, screen highlights from every Premier League match.

The ‘splofficial’ channel will also cover pre and post-match reaction from players and managers, as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes features. Match highlights of Saturday games will be available for supporters in the UK and Ireland from 18:00 GMT on Sundays, while overseas fans will be able to access the content from 22:00 on the evening of a game.

The SPL’s agreement comes after the French Football League (LFP) signed a landmark deal in May that saw Dailymotion.fr, L’Equipe.fr and YouTube secure video on demand (VOD) rights to Ligue 1 in France.

The four-year agreement, which also commences with the 2012-13 season, will provide French football fans with free access to game highlights, goals and interviews via the three platforms. YouTube built on that agreement by agreeing a deal to broadcast a Ligue 1 magazine programme on a global basis.

Commenting on the SPL’s partnership with YouTube, the League’s commercial manager, Stuart MacPhee, said: “Launching the ‘splofficial’ channel represents a new chapter in online fan engagement for our league. Making Clydesdale Bank Premier League content available on YouTube will allow fans to access all the best action, on and off the pitch, whenever they want and wherever they are, be it at home on the laptop or on their smartphone on the bus to work.”

Stephen Nuttall, senior director of sports for YouTube Europe, Middle East and Africa, added: “Football fans worldwide naturally go to YouTube to catch up on goals and highlights. Our partnership with the Scottish Premier League will give the global YouTube audience access to all aspects of Scottish football from the best on-field action to exclusive behind-the-scenes footage.”

Posted by: Kev Howland

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