Basketball junkies rejoice: the NBA Development League is headed to YouTube.
The North-America based National Basketball Association (NBA) and YouTube announced on Tuesday that at least 350 games from pro basketball’s minor league will stream LIVE this season via the world’s most popular video-sharing network YouTube. It’s purported to mark the first — but surely not the last — time a pro-sports league has used YouTube as its main outlet to broadcast games.
“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,” Claude Ruibal, YouTube’s global sports director, said in a release. “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.”
Fans can catch games live on the D-League YouTube channel, and via a YouTube video player embedded on NBA.com. On-demand replays of finished games will also be available on the league’s channel, as well as individual team websites.
While it’s likely that only hardcore hoop-heads will want to watch a bunch of former college stars with little chance of future NBA stardom, the partnership is an interesting one for non-basketball reasons.
The NBA became YouTube’s first sports-league partner in 2005 and, with more than 966 million total video views, and 980,000 subscribers is its most popular sports channel.
On other social media channels, NBA has at least 14,883,764 Likes on their Facebook Page and 6,298,265 Followers on Twitter.