The BBL are aiming for a regular terrestrial TV slot this season despite a new YouTube deal.

An agreement with internet giants Google means that almost every British Basketball League, Cup and Trophy contest will be streamed on YouTube this term, courtesy of the new robotic cameras which have been installed by the BBL in every team’s area.

With selected contests also to appear on Facebook, it will replace the previous subscription offering through livebasketball.tv – with games to be shown live as well as being available on demand.

But discussions with broadcasters are thought to be at an advanced stage with Channel 4 understood to be one option on the table – and with Glasgow Rocks BBL Cup clash with Newcastle Eagles on Sunday September 22 earmarked as a possible curtain raiser.

“For potential sponsors, the big question we get asked is about eyeballs and how many we have,” said BBL commercial director Bob Hope. “With livebasketball, we were restricted behind a paywall.

“But towards the end of last season, we asked Perform – who own our media rights – if we could run some tests on YouTube and Facebook and the numbers were huge.

“So now, when we talk to sponsors, we can use that. But we have to also promote it strongly through social media as well as what Google do and that’s something we’re going to do.”

It is also expected that the BBL will push more content onto social media with a new interactive show set to launch around the start of the league season in December.

“We’ve spoken to a lot of young people about where they want to get BBL content from,” Hope added. “The answer is on YouTube, free to air, on any device, anywhere.”

Selected WBBL games could also be made available although only Leicester Riders and Newcastle Eagles play in camera-enabled arenas due to their links with BBL sides.

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