- Riots break out after a fake email about coronavirus went viral Thursday 8:59 PM
- Bloomberg edits debate clip to make other Democratic candidates appear speechless Thursday 7:50 PM
- Dad claims YouTube refuses to remove video of daughter’s murder Thursday 6:36 PM
- Video of Kanye leaving Kim in elevator to carry all their bags has people cackling Thursday 6:19 PM
- Orlando Bloom’s tattoo misspelled son’s name because of Pinterest Thursday 5:35 PM
- The Ahi Challenge is the latest dance taking over TikTok Thursday 4:40 PM
- Show criticized for putting rape victim in blackface to protect her identity Thursday 3:42 PM
- Woman becomes viral sensation after iconic ‘Shallow’ subway video Thursday 2:48 PM
- Prettyboyfredo tried to gift a bullied teen some $30,000 Nikes at school—he got detained Thursday 2:13 PM
- ‘Vanderpump Rules’ recap: Wedding bells and blows Thursday 1:50 PM
- A 16-year-old made a ‘meme guide’ to help her dad understand online trends Thursday 1:46 PM
- UCLA drops plans to use facial recognition after student pushback Thursday 1:07 PM
- ‘Star Trek: Picard’ recap, episode 5: ‘Stardust City Rag’ Thursday 12:56 PM
- Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison Thursday 12:45 PM
- New The 1975 music video is full of memes you’ll love Thursday 12:28 PM
‘Saturday Night Live’ finally has a YouTube channel—you just can’t watch it
The ad-free international SNL channel aims to drive up foreign viewership in the 170 countries where the live variety show currently airs.
Saturday Night Live and YouTube would seem like a match made in pageview heaven. The long-running NBC sketch show was legendary for its short, standalone comedy scenes long before keyboard cat came along and made two-minute bursts of online entertainment a standard viewing habit.
So it only makes sense that Saturday Night Live would eventually launch a YouTube channel to complement the show. The only problem for American comedy fans is that the channel is not available to viewers in the U.S. A licensing agreement with Yahoo keeps thousands of classic clips from domestic YouTube viewers.
According to Variety, the ad-free international SNL channel aims to drive up foreign viewership in the 170 countries where the live variety show currently airs. The channel launches on the eve of the show’s 39th season with an impressive backlog of 2,500 clips. An additional 2,000 will be loaded in the next few weeks, along with weekly uploads from current episodes. The show returns this week with host Tina Fey.
That’s not to say there is a shortage of SNL content available online to U.S. fans. Some 5,000 clips from the show are currently up on Yahoo, bolstering the company’s efforts to create original Web comedies. The videos have migrated over their from their former home at SNL‘s website and Hulu, though Hulu Plus will still air full episodes of the show. Old SNL episodes are also available on Netflix for instant streaming.
Though Saturday Night Live has historically worked to keep its official clips off of YouTube, the show has always had a special relationship with the site. “Lazy Sunday,” one of the show’s first Digital Shorts, was an early hit for YouTube.
The SNL YouTube channel is overseen by the online-video startup Zefr, which has created automated post-rolls at the end of each clip to recommend other SNL videos.
Photo via NBC
Tim Sampson is a reporter who focused on the technology, business, and politics beats. He's also an established comedy writer, with work on Comedy Central and in The Onion and ClickHole.