For the 2019/20 season the British Basketball League (BBL) are broadcasting games live on YouTube. For the last few seasons they were using LiveBasketball so I was interested to see if the service improved with YouTube.
I decided that I would watch a London Lions game on YouTube as I am a Lions fan. Unfortunately my first attempt at this did not work as there were technical issues which prevented live streaming on the day I had planned to watch.
The first, and most obvious, difference is that the YouTube service is free whereas fans had to pay for the previous service. Now I happily pay for NBA League Pass every year so I am not against paying for a service to watch BBL games. However, the subscription BBL service never really felt worth it as you could only watch games live, there were frequent technical issues and often the commentators didn’t even know the players names.
With a free service I won’t find technical issues or low quality commentary as annoying.
Today was my first BBL YouTube game and I was pleasantly surprised. The stream was constant all game, the commentary was good and the on screen graphics were a big improvement on the previous service. Throughout the game I could see the score, after each basket they showed the name of the player who scored and their stats, I could monitor the foul count each quarter and at half time I was shown game stats.
I really appreciated that as it’s exactly the kind of data I expect to see in the venue and the fact that it was provided on a free stream of the game made it even better.
Overall I think the move to YouTube was a good idea and I hope the BBL can keep this up.