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Turner deal boosts YouTube TV’s sports offering

Video-sharing company YouTube has bolstered the sports output of its US cable-free live television service, YouTube TV, through a new partnership with media company Turner.

Under the deal, YouTube TV subscribers will now be able to access basketball content in the form of NBA games and the March Madness college event; games from Major League Baseball’s postseason; golf major the PGA Championship and European club football competition the Uefa Champions League.

YouTube added that it will also soon be adding NBA TV and MLB Network, the television networks of the two leagues, to the YouTube TV base package. NBA League Pass, the league’s premium out-of-market live game service, and MLB’s streaming service MLB.TV will also be offered for an extra fee.

The announcement comes along with a price rise and expansion of the YouTube TV footprint in the US. From March 13, YouTube TV will increase from $35 (€29) to $40 per month for new customers. YouTube added that the platform will also expand to all top 100 US markets, with Lexington, Dayton, Honolulu, Richmond, Mobile and Syracuse named amongst the new additions.

Heather Moosnick, director of content partnerships for YouTube TV, said the platform is hoping that enhanced sports content will win it more subscribers. “Sports is really one of the key offerings that a millennial would be willing to pay for a live TV service,” she told the Reuters news agency.

The announcement comes after YouTube TV last month sealed a landmark media and jersey sponsorship deal with Major League Soccer expansion franchise Los Angeles Football Club.

Under the multi-year partnership, which will commence when LAFC makes its MLS debut in March, YouTube TV will serve as the official live television partner and official video partner of the team, becoming the exclusive home to watch all locally televised English-language LAFC matches. YouTube TV will also carry all nationally televised LAFC matches on ESPN, Fox and FS1. 

The landmark deal will also see the YouTube TV logo prominently displayed on the LAFC jersey, with the club hailing it as the first partnership of its kind in North American professional sports where all locally televised matches are on a live television streaming provider.

YouTube TV launched in April 2017 in the United States’ largest metro areas – New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay, Chicago and Philadelphia – and has since expanded to over 80 areas.