By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
December 14, 2012
In this era of social media, the National Basketball Association is the king of pro sports. The NBA last week became the first of the U.S. “Big Four” leagues to reach one billion views on its YouTube channel, which launched just five years ago. Making this feat even more impressive is the fact that by revenue metrics, the NBA is substantially less successful than the NFL or Major League Baseball.
So what helped the NBA reach the billion view milestone faster than these other leagues? Under Commissioner David Stern and his deputy Adam Silver, the NBA has done a tremendous job embracing new technologies. While other leagues were scared of game footage ending up on YouTube, the NBA welcomed the practice as a way to get clips and highlights in front of more fans. The NBA and YouTube are expanding their relationship even further this year by showing more than 350 D-League games live online.
Considering the NBA also dwarfs its counterparts in Twitter followers and Facebook friends, it’s safe to say the other pro sports leagues are envious of the league’s digital success.