You don’t have to be a media savant to have noticed that the way people consume sports is changing. Many sports fans have “cut their cords” and eliminated cable from their list of monthly expenses. In fact, it was estimated that more than 22 million people dumped cable in 2017, up 33 percent from 2016, and there’s no reason to believe the downward trend will curtail soon.
Consumers today can get just about everything they want for free online—many millennials don’t even own a TV. Even if you do, services like Sling offer à la carte packages for as little as $20 a month, so sports fans can snag all their favorite networks (like ESPN, TNT, and TBS) in an inexpensive bundle.
Those who don’t want to shell out even a Jackson a month can easily find shady streams of live events through sites like Reddit. But tapping into those streams is unreliable (your feed may go out at the most inopportune moment) and, of course, illegal.
If you’re willing to pay a little bit of cash, it is possible to abide by the law and view a high-quality broadcast on your computer or smartphone. The major sports leagues all offer streaming subscriptions; for example, NBA League Pass gives hoops fans the opportunity to stream all live games (and replay them after the fact) for $99 a year.
But rabid sports fans, of course, want more than just the games. They want highlights, analysis, interviews, talk shows, and more. That peripheral content has helped ESPN flourish for four decades.
Back in the day, you had to tune in to SportsCenter or watch talk shows throughout the day to stay up to date, but these days you can just navigate to YouTube. While ESPN will soon launch ESPN Plus, an over-the-top version of the network that will cost $4.99 a month, the company has found both a competitor and ally in YouTube’s free, publicly-sourced video platform.
YouTube is a digitally minded sports fan’s best friend. From giant networks like ESPN to superstar athletes to niche scouting services to everyday fans with hilarious takes, there are sports-minded content creators abound—and YouTube is their Mecca.
We’ve sifted through the litter and compiled our favorite YouTube accounts for sports fans. While we didn’t include ourselves, of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t plug our own channel, which includes daily episodes of Out of Bounds featuring Gilbert Arenas.
Without further ado, here are the 20 best sports YouTube channels..
Honorable mention: JxmyHighroller, NFL Films, Frankie Vision, Nike Training, Ximo Pierto, TotalProSports, Overtimeathletes, TYT Sports, KTO, AthletesTraining, Red Bull, DMHIGHLIGHTS, FreeDawkins, and Delta Highlights.