YouTube clarifies its statement on new sport offering

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YouTube has retracted its initial statement regarding its sports content offering.

Last week, the video-sharing Web site released a statement saying it will introduce a sport streaming service dedicated to sport fans. However, the statement has since been updated to clarify that YouTube has not signed any licensing agreements with sports broadcasters.

YouTube says it is not launching a new streaming service; however, it is working closely with broadcasters and rights-holders in order to distribute their sporting events on the platform.

“In Sub-Saharan Africa, YouTube works with partners including SuperSport, which owns the exclusive regional broadcast rights to the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, FIFA Women’s World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations, among other franchises,” according to the updated statement.

SuperSport’s YouTube channel, which recently hit one million subscribers, publishes select video-on-demand highlights packages where permitted, which means fans across Africa can watch edited highlights of selected games after they have first aired live on SuperSport.

“SuperSport uses YouTube to grow sport fandom and reach digital audiences that are searching for sports content in Sub-Saharan Africa,” says Gideon Khobane, CEO of SuperSport.

"All content curated and published on YouTube is fully in SuperSport’s editorial control and in accordance with their broadcast and transmission rights agreements with rights-holders."

Live streaming is different from uploading highlights to stream on demand, and SuperSport has made no current agreement for live distribution of global or local sports franchises on YouTube, according to YouTube.

YouTube says it does not own or license any of the underlying broadcast rights, and SuperSport publishes clips, highlights and ancillary sport content to YouTube at its complete discretion.

“We know audiences are excited about sports content on YouTube and we are pleased to help fans discover more of the sports they love, in collaboration with our global and local partners,” says YouTube content partnerships lead Dayo Olopade.

“We apologise for any confusion caused.”

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