The NBA and YouTube TV have agreed to a presenting partnership, allowing the live TV streaming service to become the first presenting sponsor of the NBA Finals.
The two sides have announced the agreement. As part of the agreement, the NBA Finals will feature a “The Finals presented by YouTube TV” logo, while YouTube TV will be highlighted in ABC commercial spots and in-game call outs. Along with the NBA Finals, the partnership will extend to the finals for both the WNBA and NBA Gatorade League.
This is the result of a multi-year partnership that will take effect with the upcoming NBA Finals, which is slated to be broadcast live by ABC beginning on Thursday, March 31. While this partnership represents a first for the NBA Finals, YouTube TV undertook a similar endeavor last year through its 2017 World Series partnership with Major League Baseball. More from Deadline:
The deal marks the second time YouTube has selected a sports championship series to tout it subscription television service to a likely audience of millions of TV viewers. The YouTube TV name and red “play” logo were as visible as Dodger Blue during the 2017 World Series, appearing prominently behind home plate and elsewhere.
“The sports sponsorships that they’re doing, I think they’re really beginning to let people know this is out there,” said Colin Dixon, a digital media analyst with nScreenMedia.
Dixon notes this strategy appears to be paying dividends. TiVo’s Q4 2017 Video Trends Report found that 8.5% of people surveyed say they use YouTube TV — remarkable growth for the subscription TV service that launched last April.
“It’s also a great time to be telling people this because I think we are at a turning point in paid TV history,” said Dixon.
Overall, YouTube TV is making a major push when it comes to presenting partnerships in major professional sports. Along with its agreement with the NBA, YouTube TV is also set to continue serving as the presenting partner of the World Series in 2018 and 2019.
“Our presenting partnership of The Finals marks another first in our longstanding and innovative history with YouTube,” Dan Rossomondo, NBA Senior Vice President, Global Media and Business Development said in a press statement. “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.”
“Partnering with the NBA is a slam dunk for YouTube TV members, with more basketball content and the first-ever presenting partner of the NBA Finals,” Angela Courtin, Global Head of YouTube TV & Originals Marketing said in a press statement. “YouTube TV was built for fans, and we are excited to bring to life our cable-free live TV service during one of the most watched sports events of the year.”