Watching USA basketball games through 2020 just became much easier, thanks to a partnership between Twitch and the National Basketball Association. The streaming platform, known for its live streams from individuals who produce tutorials and video game playthroughs, already has a number of deals to stream other sports. These include MLS, WWE and UEFA Champions League playoffs to name but a few.
The partnership includes exclusive streaming of up to 76 boys and girls youth basketball games as they take place during the Junior NBA Global Championship.
USA Basketball is a nonprofit organisation and governing body for basketball in America. It’s responsible for organising the men’s and women’s teams that compete on an international level. For example, this year they will send teams to the FIBA World Cup in China.
Some leagues will stream games on their own websites, such as NBA.com, but they value partnerships with television networks and streaming services such as Twitch due to the huge audiences they bring in for big events.
Currently, the NBA’s main media rights lie with ESPN, ABC and TNT – part of Warner Media – through the 2025 season. However, the league is experimenting with other rights to see how new kinds of content and partnerships will work out for them.
Twitch and USA Basketball will create extra content around every event, such as the USA Men’s National Team, some 3×3 events and the 2020 Nike Hoop Summit, according to the NBA.
This isn’t entirely new territory for Twitch, as the streaming giant has already been the platform for matches from the G League – the NBA’s minor league organisation – and the NBA 2K video game matches.
The new events will be available for co-streaming, which means fans will be able to offer their own commentary. Furthermore, live broadcasts will be available on the platform to watch on demand after they’ve aired.
NBA Senior Vice President David Denenberg said: “Bringing USA Basketball programming to Twitch is an exciting next step in our partnership. Twitch shares in our commitment to innovation and using technology to improve the live game viewing experience for basketball fans around the world.”
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