Twitter inked another live-streaming deal today, and this time it’s with the NBA.
The two companies announced a partnership to live-stream two new weekly pre-game NBA shows “with first-of-its-kind elements created specifically for integration with Twitter conversation.” The content will stream exclusively on Twitter for both logged-in users and those without an account.
“We’re excited about bringing live content to Twitter, which has proven to be an ideal destination for real-time sports conversations,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “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.”
The NBA won’t stream any live games as part of the deal. That’s one key difference between this deal and Twitter’s new partnership with the NFL, which will stream 10 Thursday Night Football games exclusively on the social media platform this upcoming season.
Twitter paid the NFL a reported $10 million for the rights to stream those games; it’s unclear what the financial details of its deal with the NBA are.
The NBA said today that it will also increase “its content creation across Twitter, Vine and Periscope” as part of the deal. It has established itself as one of the more forward-thinking professional sports leagues in regard to social media and digital content. The NBA has 22.4 million followers on Twitter; the NFL has 19.5 million; the MLB has 6 million; the NHL has 5 million; the MLS has 2.4 million.
For Twitter, this is another big push for live video with a focus on sports. Along with the NFL deal, the company live-streamed content from Wimbledon earlier this month and signed a deal with the Pac-12 earlier this week to stream college sports action. It also is partnering with non-sports media companies for live-streaming, like Bloomberg, and streaming events like the Republican National Convention. The deals, which bring in additional advertising money for Twitter, are being inked as the company struggles to add new users.
“Twitter is the fastest way to find out what’s happening in the NBA and to have a discussion about it,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in a statement. “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.”