SBD/March 5, 2012/Media

SUM, Google Team Up To Create Soccer-Specific YouTube Channel Called KickTV

Soccer United Marketing, Bedrocket Media Ventures and Google Friday announced the launch of KickTV, a new online network that will feature new and original shows centered on soccer. KickTV will provide soccer fans with analysis, news, commentary and exclusive access to soccer. In addition, KickTV will stream games from the past, instructional content, as well as experts who curate YouTube’s vast soccer library. The on-air team includes former U.S. men's national team D Jimmy Conrad, former MLS Revolution coach Steve Nicol; EPL club Bolton MF Stuart Holden and British Olympian Jo Ankier. KickTV content will be led by Bedrocket VP/Programming Stefan Van Engen and Editor-in-Chief Greg Lalas (SUM). In a special to the SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, Erik Spanberg notes KickTV is part of Google’s $100M, 100-channel venture “to kick-start its YouTube online video site into an infinite series of themed channels." MLS Digital pitched the idea to Google and YouTube “as a global soccer site featuring news and analysis, instructional sessions and full-length versions of memorable games from past seasons.” MLS Digital GM Chris Schlosser said, “This is not an MLS-U.S. soccer channel. This is a channel that is covering the global sport of soccer.” MLS Digital plans to hire “20 full-time staffers to work on the YouTube channel, which is free for users and relies on advertising alone for revenue.” An unspecified number of contractors “will also be hired for the New York-based venture.” Execs at MLS Digital and YouTube “declined to discuss revenue and profit forecasts” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/5 issue).
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