By Sahil Patel
It’s been a week since the digital sports network The Whistle announced the launch of its Xbox 360 app, which serves as a connected-TV hub for content from The Whistle’s pro-league partners and roster of digital talent.
The app also serves another purpose: It’s a way for The Whistle to attract new creators and professional content partners who might want to expand their reach to a platform like Xbox, but don’t necessarily have the time or resources to make it happen in the short term.
For instance, KickTV, the YouTube-based channel network started by Major League Soccer, which has inked a distribution deal with The Whistle to send its content to the Xbox app. As part of the overall agreement between MLS, KickTV, and The Whistle, the companies will also collaborate on new digital content.
“This partnership with The Whistle will allow MLS and KickTV to reach an audience of 80 million engaged Xbox users who align very well with our target of young tech-savvy soccer fans,” said Chris Schlosser, VP, MLS Digital, in a statement. “Their Xbox app looks amazing and we are excited to be involved with the launch. The Whistle understands our audience, knows how to keep fans engaged, and will be a great partner for content collaboration and distribution.”
MLS is just the latest pro-league content partner for The Whistle, joining a roster that includes the NFL, MLB, NASCAR, the PGA Tour, AVP, and Major League Lacrosse.
YouTube talent signed to The Whistle’s network include trick-shot artists like Dude Perfect and Brode Smith, as well as freestyle soccer stars STRSkillSchool. In total, The Whistle’s MCN reaches 6.8 million subscribers across 140 channel partners.
KickTV, meanwhile, oversees 13 channels on YouTube, collectively reaching more than 1.1 million subscribers. The network’s programming includes exclusive behind-the-scenes access to and analysis of MLS.