Continuing to augment the distribution lineup for its Development League, the NBA has scored a deal with YouTube that will showcase 350 of the circuit’s contests during the 2012-13 season.
The pact, financial terms of which were not disclosed, expands the NBA’s relationship with YouTube: it was the first official professional sports league to partner with it in 2005; tipped off its own channel two years later; and joined the video outlet’s "Claim Your Content" program that same year.
All told, more than 960 million videos have been viewed by fans on the NBA Channel, making it the most popular sports channel on YouTube, according to officials.
With the agreement, the NBA D-League will feature the most live games on YouTube by a major professional sports league.The circuit begins on YouTube on Friday, Nov. 23, with four games when the Maine Red Claws meet the Canton Charge, the Erie BayHawks play the Ft. Wayne Mad Ants, the Tulsa 66ers host the Texas Legends, and the Bakersfield Jam open against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
“The NBA’s latest initiative with YouTube marks another milestone in our partnership and a great way to tip off the twelfth season of the NBA Development League,” said NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver in announcing the deal. “By turning to our longtime partner, YouTube, we are able to bring the NBA D-League to basketball fans around the world, further expanding the league’s growth and showcasing future NBA stars.”
“As one of the world’s most popular sports with a broad roster of top prospects, the NBA D-League is a perfect fit for the YouTube platform,” noted Claude Ruibal, global head of sports for Google/YouTube.“With our broad global delivery across all platforms and devices, providing live and catch up NBA D-League games and highlights will make this exciting content easily accessible to a whole new generation of basketball fans.”
Throughout the regular season, all D-League contests will be available nationwide either online; on the NBA D-League Center Court mobile app – the league’s free mobile application providing fans with access to NBA D-League content on the Android Market and the App Store; or on CBS Sports Network and NBA TV, the league’s national television partners.
Additionally, fans can access the live games on the NBA D-League YouTube channel via all of the league’s 16 team websites. Archived versions of the live games are available on demand through the YouTube channel and the league’s website shortly after the conclusion of the contests.