YouTube TV announced this morning it will become the first-ever presenting sponsor of the 2018 NBA Finals as the result of a multi-year partnership focused on raising consumer awareness of YouTube's streaming TV service.
YouTube TV, the streaming TV service that Tim and I can't shut up about, is getting a new feature this week that will let you customize its channel order or Live Guide. According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, the deciding Game 5 of the 2017 Warriors-Cavs series on ABC averaged 24.5 million viewers and a 13.5 household rating, making it the year's 23rd most-watched and highest-rated TV broadcast. The YouTube TV logo will also be featured on the court and in the area. The NBA was the first professional sports league to partner with YouTube and launch its own channel in 2005.
In retrospect, YouTube TV may have indicated that it had its eye on the National Basketball Association championship series when it dropped a new promo starring Golden State power forward Draymond Green during ABC's coverage of the January 27 Celtics-Warriors game. During The Finals, fans will have access to ABC and every game through YouTube TV, which is available in almost 100 of the top markets, covering more than 85 percent of USA households.
This is one of a few moves the NBA has made to further its relationship with YouTube TV, as the league will also be adding NBA TV to YouTube TV's base package, and has plans to allow league pass to be streamed on the YouTube TV platform for an additional fee.
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.
"Our presenting partnership of The Finals marks another first in our longstanding and innovative history with YouTube", NBA SVP of global media and business development Dan Rossomondo said in a statement.
It looks like Google will continue their hard push to promote YouTube TV to sports fans.