NBA launches YouTube channel

07 Dec 2018

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has launched a new YouTube channel featuring players and fans in partnership with Canadian over-the-top (OTT) streaming service Broadband TV (BBTV).

The NBA Playmakers channel will focus on original cultural programming that mixes digital influencers and followers with the league’s marquee players, teams, and events, including All-Star, the NBA Draft and NBA Summer League.

“This community of creators has become part of the NBA family and has helped us connect with fans in a new way,” said Jeff Marsilio, NBA’s senior vice president for New Media Distribution. “We’re excited to launch this channel to further reach and engage our passionate fans through unique content.”

BBTV and NBA first partnered in 2009, with BBTV managing fan-uploaded NBA content on YouTube.

They then launched the NBA Playmakers network in 2016 to distribute ‘basketball-culture content’ with exclusive access to NBA resources including footage, tickets, and merchandise.

In addition, the new YouTube channel will cover an array of topics across basketball culture, fitness, training, entertainment, fashion, and gaming, and will also be cross-promoted on the NBA’s social media outlets, which share a combined global reach of 1.5 billion subscribers.

“We continue to build and grow NBA Playmakers to become the strongest digital ecosystem for the basketball community and culture,” said Ben Pickering, BBTV’s vice president for strategic business development.

“Producing compelling original content with professional athletes and top digital talent is an important strategic move for the NBA Playmakers brand and there is real value for all constituents, spanning digital influencers, NBA players, brands, advertisers and ultimately the viewer.”

The channel will include several series productions, including ‘Run that Back’, which will feature content with past NBA greats; ‘Jump Start’, a fireside chat around skills and iconic moments; and ‘On the Court’, featuring training sessions and casual games.

Influencer-produced shows will also include ‘NBA Breakdown’, which will offer a technical look at what it takes to be an NBA player; ‘Best of Sneakers’, a weekly series that discusses NBA apparel; and ‘Community Mixtapes’, which looks at iconic moment’s in the league’s history.

Devin Williams, creator of basketball-centric YouTube channel ‘In the Lab, said he was looking forward to creating “high-caliber content” for the Playmakers channel.