BT's football final coverage attracts 3 million on YouTube

Not bad.

Reuters/Carl Recine

BT Sport's YouTube experiment turned out to be quite successful. As the Guardian reports, the broadcaster attracted three million people to its live coverage of the Champions League and Europa League finals on the platform. Anyone in the UK was able to watch these streams, regardless of whether or not they were a BT Sport subscriber. It was offered alongside BT Sport Showcase, a free-to-watch Freeview channel that BT is forced to provide as part of its Champions League and Europa League TV rights deal. It was the first time both finals have been shown for free on YouTube.

Three million might not sound like a lot given the total number of people that are interested in football in the UK. But bear in mind this was the first time BT Sport has ever offered free coverage on YouTube -- not everyone will have known about it, or known where it was being hosted. Furthermore, the Champions League final was, while nail-biting at its conclusion, a subdued end for many British football fans. All of the English clubs had been knocked out months ago, and an all-Madrid fixture is something fans see numerous times a year in La Liga. Liverpool's clash with Sevilla in the Europa League final was, of course, a different story.

So three million is still a pretty good turnout. It represented a quarter of BT's viewership, which could have also tuned in through BT TV, the BT website, the BT Sport apps and a number of other TV platforms. For BT, there's no immediate gain from showing matches on YouTube, however it could be an effective way of marketing its paid sports package. If viewers are impressed by the quality of the stream, the commentary or the pundits, it might be the push they need to subscribe to the full BT Sport experience.