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More live soccer is coming to YouTube.
The streamer has inked a multiyear deal with Seattle Sounders FC to turn its skinny TV bundle, YouTube TV, into the exclusive live-streaming home for the team’s matches. The deal comes a month after YouTube TV teamed with the Los Angeles Football Club to become the official live television partner for the new MLS team.
YouTube has exclusive streaming rights to 20 Sounders matches, which will be available to Washington-based subscribers via a dedicated Sounders FC channel. (Those games will also be available on television through a recently renewed deal with local stations Q13 FOX and JOEtv.) Another 14 nationally broadcast games will be available to all subscribers via the ESPN, Fox and Fox Sports 1 channels on YouTube TV.
“With the addition of YouTube TV into our viewing arsenal, Sounders fans now have an exciting and creative option for following their team, complementing our traditional broadcast channels,” said Sounders FC COO Bart Wiley. “We’re thrilled to work with YouTube TV as our club’s first official streaming partner, and we look forward to building a strong partnership together.”
Added Tim Katz, YouTube’s director of sports partnerships for the Americas: “Sounders FC have one of the most passionate fanbases of any team in the MLS and we couldn’t be prouder to partner with them as their official live TV streaming provider.”
Exclusive live sports is a crucial way for YouTube TV to differentiate itself from the half-dozen other skinny TV bundles that have launched in recent years. With the Sounders and LAFC deals, YouTube is establishing itself as a home for live MLS matches.
YouTube TV, which launched in 2017, offers live programming from more than 50 networks, including CBS, NBC, ESPN, AMC and FX. With the addition of Turner-owned channels including TNT and TBS, YouTube recently announced that it would raise the price of YouTube TV by $5 to $40.
In Washington, YouTube TV is currently available in most of the greater Puget Sound metro area, including Seattle and Tacoma, as well as Spokane. The Sounders season kicks off Sunday against LAFC.
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