NBC has the Olympics streaming rights locked up for the rest of the decade. So YouTube is going for the next best thing.
On Tuesday, the Google-owned video platform will launch Youtube.com/teamUSA, a new content hub timed to next month's Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Instead of live games or event highlights, which will be NBCU's digital staple during the 17 days of the games starting Feb. 7, YouTube is focusing on athlete profiles and back stories.
The thinking is, as the winners of the early events gain notoriety, Web surfers will hunger for more information about these lugers, skiers and skaters. YouTube has partnered with the U.S. Olympic Committee to distribute content for the new channel, including stories on athletes' training regimens and hometowns. The distribution deal is not exclusive to YouTube.
Liberty Mutual Insurance, already a 2014 games advertiser, has signed on as exclusive brand sponsor for the TeamUSA channel. That partnership will include video ads and branded content integrations.