Bleacher Reports Launches YouTube Series on NFL Draft, Recruiting

Sports web publisher Bleacher Report pushes further into online video, following the likes of Reuters and WSJ

Sprawling sports web publisher Bleacher Report continued its rapid expansion on Wednesday, announcing four new web series that will debut on their YouTube sports channel starting this week.

Everyone from the Wall Street Journal to Reuters to the Huffington Post is augmenting their online video presence, and Bleacher Report is doing so through YouTube’s initiative for 100 channels of original programming.

It announced that deal late in 2011, and these new series represent the company’s biggest push into video yet.

“Video is great platform for us in delivering content to today’s connected viewer looking for information around the teams and topics that fans care most about,” Dave Nemetz, co-Founder and VP Video Programming and Production, said in a statement. “These original programs are a reflection of that commitment and we strongly believe that users will get an enhanced experience from these shows.”

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One show, “B/R5,” is a daily program hosted by New York TV personality Desi Sanchez that will discuss the five biggest sports stories of the day. Of the three others, one, “NFL Draft 365,” will provide year-round coverage of the NFL draft, another, “Why We Watch” will feature short-form sports documentaries and a third, “Full Ride,” will offer weekly coverage of the college football recruiting scene.

Here's a clip of BR5 (post continues after):

This is the latest in a series of moves for the growing sports media enterprise. Since locking up $22 million in new funding last August, it has added numerous writers to its staff, launched new apps and an iPad-enabled site.

Bleacher Report reports an audience of 25 million monthly unique visitors though Quantcast, which often reports smaller numbers, pegs it closer to 13 million domestically and 17 million globally.

Founded in 2008, it has built an audience by mixing unpaid and amateur bloggers with professional journalists, hence how it touts more than 1,000 featured columnists.

That has led to some backlash in the journalistic community, but the site has also been looking to its “Lead Writer Program” to better focus its editorial efforts.

It owns syndication deals with the likes of the Los Angeles Times and USA Today.