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Volume 22 No. 19
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Forty Under 40: Tim Katz

Photo: youtube

When Tim Katz started at YouTube in 2011, the platform’s relationship with leagues and properties was quite different.

Head of Sports Partnerships, YouTube

Age: 35

Born: Seattle

Education: Dartmouth College, B.A., American history; Stanford Graduate School of Business, MBA

Family: Wife, Jennifer; child, Charlie (3)

Guilty pleasure: Fresh squeezed orange juice (I drink it by the jug).

Something your friends would consider “so you”: Doing deep postgame analysis of anything remotely competitive (tennis matches, board games, cards, etc.)

Could not go a day without? My phone.

Cause supported: Glide Foundation in San Francisco.

Person in the industry you’d most like to meet? Ken Griffey Jr.

Sports industry needs to do a better job of … : Diversity and inclusion.

Most thrilling/adventurous thing you’ve done: Bareboat chartering a 37-foot boat with minimal sailing experience with a group of relative strangers that have become some of my best friends.

We’d be surprised to know that … : I was delivered by my father-in-law.

“When I first joined, the NFL and MLB weren’t even on YouTube,” Katz said. “If you were to ask folks at those leagues or any of our other partners now, YouTube is a core and integral part of their media mix and how they reach fans.”

Never was that more apparent than in 2018. YouTube TV signed sponsorship and content deals with the NBA and MLB, becoming the first presenting sponsor of the NBA Finals and the World Series, respectively. That also included carriage of NBA TV, NBA League Pass and MLB Network for all subscribers to YouTube TV. Katz and his team also signed a deal with LAFC for its English-language broadcast rights, becoming the first major professional sports team to distribute its local games digitally.

YouTube’s sports platform, now a nine-figure business, has multiplied 3 1/2 times in size since Katz took over more than three years ago.

Under Katz’s watch, YouTube also acquired global highlight rights for a range of properties from FIFA to La Liga to WWE. It also signed deals with athletes such as Kevin Durant, Chloe Kim and JuJu Smith-Schuster to help develop their voices and channels on the platform.

“Sports content is the most valuable content in the world, and a lot of what happens in the sports media landscape really dictates media consumption more broadly,” Katz said. “You have this really interesting inflection point on the horizon, and we’re right at the epicenter.”