Google’s Youtube is making a strong play in the OTT space with another promotional pact that sees YouTube TV and the NBA agreed to a deal that will see Youtube TV become the first-ever presenting sponsor of the NBA finals.
The move comes after Google has inked several sports partnerships for Youtube TV in recent months, showing that it believes tying the “virtual” pay-TV brand to live sports has been an effective customer-acquisition tool.
Under the multiyear deal with the National Basketball League, YouTube TV also will be the presenting partner of finals for the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the NBA G League, the NBA’s official minor league. The parties aren’t disclosing the length of the deal but it runs through at least 2019.
Coming on the heels of the announcement that MLB and Youtube TV had extended their agreement, this deal further solidifies YouTube and Google's push into live sports. The deal also caps the end of a busy month for the two parties that saw NBA TV and NBA League Pass added to the streaming service's offerings.
The NBA was the first pro sports league to partner with YouTube with the launch of its own channel way back in November 2005. To date, the NBA’s YouTube channel has generated more than 4.6 billion views.
YouTube TV competes with other OTT live TV services, including Dish’s Sling TV, AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Hulu’s live TV bundle, Sony’s PlayStation Vue, and Fubo TV. Launched in April 2017, YouTube TV now offers more than 50 networks and features and cloud-based DVR with unlimited storage (programs are available for nine months).