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No matter what your hobbies are, you can find a YouTube channel dedicated to them, and if you’re a sports fan, you’ve got a ton of channels to choose from. There are so many sports channels, in fact, that you might have trouble finding some that are actually worth your time. Here are some of the best sports channels on YouTube, whether you’re looking for incredible highlights, expert commentary, or just funny skits.
For in-depth, strategy-oriented discussion of basketball, BBallBreakdown is one of the best channels around. Host Coach Nick tackles a variety of topics, both timeless and timely. In one video, he examines why the 2017-18 Oklahoma City Thunder — fresh off trading for star players Paul George and Carmelo Anthony — were struggling to succeed despite having three stars (hint: Carmelo set weak screens and jacked up a bunch of terrible shots). Coach Nick makes extensive use of footage to help bolster his arguments, so viewers can see what he is describing in real time. The channel is also a good place to learn basketball history, with interviews with NBA legends and short videos about important events and players of days long past.
Founded by longtime ESPN writer and notorious Boston sports homer Bill Simmons, The Ringer is a site dedicated to covering both sports and pop culture. The site also produces a robust volume of videos and podcasts, which conveniently assembled on The Ringer’s YouTube channel. Sports fans will find a variety of videos, including video analysis of specific basketball players, humorous explainers for a host of NFL concepts, and “table reads,” in which pro athletes recreate scenes from famous movies. The Ringer staff tend to keep a casual tone, but the videos are generally well-produced.
Joseph Vincent makes “mini-documentaries” about various athletes, chopping and splicing various bits of archival footage and audio to create remarkable short films. His video Dawn of the G.O.A.T., for example, compiles footage and commentary from Tom Brady’s college career, when Brady had to claw his way up the depth charts at Michigan to become the starting quarterback, fending off competition from younger athlete Drew Henson along the way. It’s enough to make even an ardent Patriots hater tear up a little and a testament to Vincent’s talent. His documentaries span a variety of sports and eras, too, including basketball, football, and even Muhammad Ali’s fight against Joe Frazier in Manila.
As one of the many sports sites to explode in popularity over the last decade, Bleacher Report produces a lot of video content, and while the quality varies, some of it is quite good. B/R covers all the major sports, and viewers will find recent highlights for basketball, football, soccer, and other sports with minimal editing (no obnoxious soundtracks here). Fans can also find video of the Simms & Lefkoe podcast on the B/R channel, but the crown jewel is undoubtedly Game of Zones, an animated series that mashes up news of the NBA season with Game of Thrones. At five seasons and counting, it’s a hilarious treat for even casual basketball fans, and since the drama in the NBA never ceases, the writers probably won’t run out of material any time soon.
Professional leagues can be awfully stingy with footage of games; more of them should follow the example of Bundesliga, the premier German soccer league, which maintains a YouTube channel swollen with highlights, explainers, and the occasional bout of comedy. The videos all have a high level of polish, but Bundesliga isn’t afraid to let a little personality shine through. If you follow Bundesliga, this channel is a feast of good content; if you don’t, stop missing out on some of the best soccer in the world!
Although ESPN has stumbled a few times as audiences increasingly flock away from cable to online entertainment, the sports network remains a titan in the industry, and home to some great sports media talents. In addition to highlights from various major league sports, ESPN’s channel includes clips from the Stephen A. Smith Show, The Jump with Rachel Nichols, and more.
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