SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – YouTube began broadcasting over 4,000 television episodes from series such as “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Heartland” to US viewers on Wednesday, as the site strives to win viewers in a fiercely competitive sector. The Google-owned video platform said that popular television episodes and films from major studios would be available on YouTube with advertisements via smart televisions, mobile devices, or online browsers. YouTube was a forerunner in the trend of watching video on-demand through the internet, beginning with user-uploaded and shared clips. It is up against a slew of competitors, ranging from subscription-based streaming video service Netflix to ad-supported options like Peacock, Roku, Tubi, and others. According to the YouTube team, new movies and episodes will be introduced on a weekly basis, with titles such as “Gone in Sixty Seconds” and “Runaway Bride” joining the lineup. In December of last year, more than 135 million individuals in the United States viewed YouTube videos on televisions linked to the internet, according to Nielsen data. “As the leading ad-supported streaming platform, YouTube is at the vanguard of the consumer move to (connected TV) watching,” the video-sharing company stated in a post.