×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

YouTube TV Lands NBA Finals Sponsorship, Building on Sports-Marketing Strategy

Google’s YouTube is boxing out over-the-top TV rivals with yet another promotional sports pact: YouTube TV will be the first-ever presenting sponsor for the NBA Finals.

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.

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.

Earlier this month, YouTube renewed and extended its marketing deal with Major League Baseball, which includes YouTube TV’s return as presenting sponsor of the World Series for 2018 and 2019. It also struck exclusive streaming deals for YouTube TV with two Major League Soccer teams, Los Angeles Football Club and the Seattle Sounders FC.

Under the NBA deal, a logo with “Presented by YouTube TV” will be featured prominently during all NBA Finals games, including on the court and in-arena. In addition, YouTube TV will be featured in ABC ad spots and in-game callouts. YouTube TV branding also will be featured across the NBA’s digital and social-media channels.

Earlier this month, YouTube TV added NBA TV, the league’s 24-hour network, as part of the base package (which increased for new subscribers from $35 to $40 per month as of March 13). NBA League Pass, the league’s out-of-market live game subscription service, will be available for YouTube TV members for an add-on option.

“The NBA Finals on ABC, as well as the WNBA Finals and NBA G League Finals, are pinnacle events, and with YouTube TV we are excited to provide fans with new ways to experience the excitement of these championship series,” said Dan Rossomondo, NBA’s SVP of global media and business development.

The 2018 NBA Finals will be broadcast live on ABC starting Thursday, May 31. During The Finals, most — but not all — Americans will be able to watch ABC through YouTube TV, which is now available in nearly 100 of the top markets (spanning more than 85% of U.S. households).

“YouTube TV is a next-generation partner for an ascendant league and we look forward to working with them to maximize the impact of their investment across ABC and the ESPN platform,” said Wendell Scott, ESPN’s SVP of multimedia sales.

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 a cloud-based DVR with unlimited storage (programs are available for nine months).

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Streaming Battle: Disney, Apple and More

    The Battle for Eyeballs Makes for an Action-Packed Streaming Arena (Column)

    It came as no surprise last week that Disney CEO Bob Iger had resigned from the Apple board since the two companies are poised to launch competing subscription streaming services in less than two months. But Iger’s departure (announced the same day that Apple revealed its Nov. 1 launch date and $5-a-month price point) underscores [...]

  • AVOD streaming video OTT users -

    Fast-Growing Asia Video Market Awaits Arrival of Disney Plus and Apple

    Asia’s over-the-top video streaming market is growing so strongly that there is currently room for a wide variety of business models. Local companies have many of the most compelling success stories, but the global players have found plenty to chew on too, and competition is expected to increase with Disney and Apple launches starting from [...]

  • Streaming Wars Placeholder TV

    Explosion of Streaming Services Points to Price Wars on the Horizon

    With its $800 iPhones and $1,400 Hermès smart watches, Apple’s not exactly in the business of bargain-bin pricing. But the surprisingly low-priced debut of Apple TV Plus, at $4.99 per month for a family subscription, is a signal that the streaming video market of tomorrow — soon to be awash with services from Disney, WarnerMedia [...]

  • VJ1 RuPaul's Drag Race

    Pluto TV Adds Seven More Free Viacom Channels, Including One for 'RuPaul’s Drag Race'

    Viacom continues stuffing more library content into Pluto TV, its free, ad-supported internet streaming service, adding a range of African American and LGBTQ programming from VH1 and BET. On Tuesday, Pluto TV launched seven new genre channels with content from its parent, including dedicated channels for VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race” — with episodes from the [...]

  • Spotify

    Spotify Dismisses Amazon’s High-Definition Audio: ‘It’s Not a Big Differentiator’

    At the moment Amazon Music launched its new high-definition audio service on Tuesday morning, which it says offers the best streaming audio fidelity available, Spotify VP and head of investor relations Paul Vogel was speaking at Goldman Sachs’ Communicopia conference in Lower Manhattan. While Tidal and Deezer have long offered a high-fidelity service and Apple [...]

  • Venn co-founders

    VENN Raises $17 Million to Launch a Cheddar-like TV Network for Gaming

    Video game industry veterans Ariel Horn and Ben Kusin have raised a massive $17 million seed funding round to launch a new gaming-focused TV network called VENN. Short for Video Game Entertainment and News Network, VENN wants to mix esports with Twitch-style video game streaming and other gaming-related entertainment content when it launches in 2020. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content