By Fatih Erel
Bypassing traditional TV, top European sports clubs are increasingly reaching out their fans via dedicated YouTube channels.
Anticipating the trend, British and Spanish clubs founded their own TV channels in the 1990s, followed by Italian, German, and Turkish teams.
In England, Middlesbrough got their own channel in 1997, followed by Manchester United in 1998, Liverpool in 2007, and Arsenal in 2008.
In the era of high-speed web video, the channels shifted to YouTube, which ushered in a new era for sports clubs to reach their fans worldwide, 24-7.
Arsenal and Middlesbrough shuttered their traditional TV operations, going exclusively YouTube.
There are at least 10 European top clubs with over one million YouTube subscribers.
Barcelona tops the list with 6 million subscribers, followed by their Spanish rivals Real Madrid with 4.3 million.
Five British clubs are among the top 10 clubs with over one million YouTube subscribers. In England, Liverpool has the most subscribers with 1.9 million, followed by Manchester City with 1.6 million, Manchester United with 1.5 million, Arsenal with 1.2 million, and Chelsea with 1.1 million.
Fenerbahce was the first Turkish club to found a dedicated TV channel in 2004, followed by Besiktas in 2005, Galatasaray in 2006, and Bursaspor in 2009.
On the web, Fenerbahce also topped the list with 709,000 subscribers to their YouTube channel followed by Galatasaray with 658,000, Besiktas with 271,000, and Trabzonspor with 112,000.
European clubs with over 1 million YouTube subscribers are as follows:
YouTube subscribers (millions)
Year TV channel founded
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