Twitter & NBA Announce Exclusive Original Live Programming Deal

Twitter & NBA Announce Exclusive Original Live Programming Deal

On Tuesday at the Ministry of Sports Marketing conference, Twitter Australia’s head of sport and food, Jonno Simpson said live streaming of sport is where the future of sport and social media is headed. Today Twitter has announced an original live programming deal with the National Basketball Association (NBA).

ERIN MARY Doyle
Posted by ERIN MARY Doyle

At the Ministry of Sports Marketing conference, Simpson said: “Two clicks and you are dead. If you need fans to click more than two times to get somewhere, give up, because your fans will. You mustn’t put barriers in way of people accessing content.”

An NBA press release announced the partnership which will bring exclusive original live programming and more video to Twitter, Vine and Periscope. The full release is below.

The partnership means the NBA videos on Twitter will continue to include #NBARapidReplay highlights, #NBAVine highlights and behind-the-scenes footage, #PhantomCam player arrivals, plays of the game, animated GIFs, #NBAmixtape custom edits, “Day in the Life” takeovers and Periscope live streams of press conferences and interviews.

Early this year, the National Football League (NFL), and Twitter signed a deal which will provide free, live streaming video of Thursday Night Football without authentication to the over 800 million registered and non-registered users worldwide on the Twitter platform on mobile phones, tablets, PCs and connected TVs.

Simpson discussed this deal with B&T calling it an ‘eyeball play’ by the NFL and further cementing Twitter as the owner of live video. “It’s an eyeball play, the NFL wants to get their content to as many people as they possibly can around the world. We’re an opportunity for them to do that. There’s an opportunity for us to increase our audience and increase the value of the NFL’s content by giving them commercialisation deals globally.

“That’s where we’re making our bet: we own live video and live sport is so big on Twitter, so how can we combine the two? How can you have a Twitter experience when you’re watching the game live? It’s about watching the game but also engage, share and talk.”

NBA press release:

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) announced today an expanded content partnership that will bring exclusive original live programming and more video to Twitter, Vine and Periscope.

The NBA, through its NBA Digital partnership with Turner, and Twitter will deliver a free live stream of a new weekly NBA pregame show with first-of-its-kind elements created specifically for integration with Twitter conversation. The weekly pregame show will be featured exclusively on Twitter for logged-in and logged-out users. Ahead of the 2016-17 season, the NBA will announce an additional to-be-determined show that will also stream exclusively on Twitter.

“We’re excited about bringing live content to Twitter, which has proven to be an ideal destination for real-time sports conversations,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “We’ve seen technology bring fans closer to our game, teams and players in ways we could have only imagined a decade ago. This expanded partnership will help feed our fans’ growing demand for the NBA by more deeply integrating the league across Twitter’s many platforms.”

“Twitter is the fastest way to find out what’s happening in the NBA and to have a discussion about it,” said Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. “Watching NBA basketball together with Twitter is a great experience, and the league has been at the forefront of embracing new ways to reach their fans. We’re happy to bring even more great NBA content to our global audience.”

The partnership also includes an extension of the NBA and Twitter’s Amplify program, with the league increasing its content creation across Twitter, Vine and Periscope. NBA videos on Twitter will continue to include #NBARapidReplay highlights, #NBAVine highlights and behind-the-scenes footage, #PhantomCam player arrivals, plays of the game, animated GIFs, #NBAmixtape custom edits, “Day in the Life” takeovers and Periscope live streams of press conferences and interviews.

In addition, @NBA will also produce more videos from major events, including NBA All-Star, NBA Playoffs, The Finals, NBA Draft and others, that will feature player Q&As, takeovers and behind-the-scenes access.

Since the NBA joined Twitter in 2009, the league has built the largest Twitter community of any sports league in the world with more than 22 million followers. The NBA recently became the first organization to surpass 2 billion loops on Vine and, since joining the platform during The Finals 2013, the NBA has built Vine’s largest community among all sports leagues, teams and players, with more than 1.8 million followers.