Turner takes shot with YouTube to expand March Madness reach

YouTube’s getting in on the March Madness action with a new channel that will post highlights of the action as games unfold during this year’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, as well as a bushel of related content.

Turner Sports, which will manage the YouTube site, is hoping the massive reach of the online video site will help expand the reach of the event.

 “Tapping into the power and reach of YouTube’s video platform opens up new opportunities for us to grow interest and consumption of March Madness,” Mark Johnson, Turner Sports’ VP of business operations, said in Variety.

The deal gives YouTube access not only to clips from this year’s 67 games, but also some custom sponsored content including:

·      Oreo’s “Dunk of the Day.”

·      A UPS-sponsored preview of potential upsets called “Solve of the Day.” And,

·      Reese’s daily preview, “Starting Lineup.”

The YouTube channel also will show press conferences, game analysis, news coverage from the network, and classic clips from past games.

The tournament – which can be counted on to bump online video traffic globally (as well as a decline in worker productivity in the U.S.) – gets underway March 17.

Fan with an authenticated pay-TV subscription can watch all of the games online, or they can watch broadcast games on TBS, CBS, TNT and TruTV. The Final Four semifinals will be televised April 4, on TBS, with the finals on April 6 on CBS.

YouTube last month signed a deal with the NFL to carry a channel of game-day highlights and related content.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn