In January, YouTube announced its first slate of sports-related Original Channels. It features X-Games-oriented programming from brands well-known to snowboard bums and skate park residents highlighting those snowboard bums and skate park residents who’ve made a living from becoming action sports professionals.
NBC Sports’ AlliSports debuted with at least five online originals covering tips and tricks from your favorite BMX, snowboard, freeski, and Moto (that’s how the cool kids say Motorcross) athletes, “news and highlights from the industries most insightful analysts,” and mini-docs of “the lives of the biggest and fastest rising stars in the sports.” Network A launched with a handful of videos featuring the same kind of content, but with different names and faces. Red Bull released no less than 13 new original web series chronicling “the competition and daily lives of the world’s best action sports athletes,” including individuals like mountain biker Danny MacAskill, skateboarder Ryan Sheckler, and surfer Jamie O’Brien. And Tony Hawk’s RIDE Channel promised the release of 22 new shows throughout 2012, at least two of which will be geared towards amateur skateboarders showing off their sills for a chance at cash, prizes, and sponsorship.
YouTube announced its second slate of sports-related Original Channels today. If you dig your sports, but not the kinds where hoodies and chain wallets are considered appropriate attire, you’ll feel more comfortable with this set of online programming.
Online sporting news network Bleacher Report launched with four series, including the daily sports pop culture show BR5, the as-of-yet unreleased Real Sports-style documentary show Why We Watch, the all-football-draft all the time NFLDraft365, and the insider’s look at the world of college football recruiting Full Ride. KickTV is for all the un-American sporting enthusiasts who like them some soccer. And the Network of Champtions (aka TheNOC) kicked off with at least five original web series “devoted to athlete lifestyle and comedy,” like Faceoff, where famous athletes and online video and/or traditional entertainment celebrities compete against one another, and Say What, where TheNOC hosts talk about what athletes are talking about on Facebook and Twitter.
The programs from Bleacher Report and TheNOC will surely appeal to MLB, NFL, NBA and other individuals who are fans of sports that have been part of mainstream American culture since before the birth of Generation X, but the AlliSports, NetworkA, and Red Bull channels have the added benefit of showcasing amazing content, palatable (at least eye candy) to those who don’t even know what an ollie is, let alone how to do one.