The National Basketball Association is lobbing more shots at Twitter’s digital hoop, with the league planning to produce two new live shows for the social service as well as boost the amount of video it pumps into Vine and Periscope.
But while the deal will bring even more sports content to Twitter, it doesn’t cover the NBA’s crown jewels: live games, which for now remain exclusively with the league’s TV broadcast partners. And details of the two new shows are sketchy for now — perhaps a reflection of Twitter’s eagerness to line up content deals before figuring out what the content will be.
Twitter has been hungry for sports and news video content, which the company sees as meshing well with real-time tweets and serving to keep users on Twitter longer (as well as attracting non-Twitter users to the platform). Earlier this year, Twitter snared high-value rights to live-stream 10 games on the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” lineup this season, and last week announced a deal with Pac-12 Networks to carry 150 events.
Under the expanded pact between the NBA and Twitter, the league in collaboration with Turner Broadcasting will deliver a free live stream of a new weekly show. The parties are promising “first-of-its-kind elements” created specifically for integration with Twitter, without elaborating. In addition, ahead of the 2016-17 NBA season, the the league plans to announce a second yet-to-be-determined show, which also will stream exclusively on Twitter.
“This expanded partnership will help feed our fans’ growing demand for the NBA by more deeply integrating the league across Twitter’s many platforms,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a prepared statement.
The NBA’s partnership with Twitter dates back several years. The NBA joined Twitter in 2009, and now has more than 22 million followers just for its main account — more than any other sports league. Since joining Vine during the 2013 NBA Finals, it has garnered more than 1.8 million followers and recently became the first organization to surpass 2 billion loops on Vine.
The NBA was one of the first partners for Twitter Amplify, the social service’s ad-supported video product, and the league teamed up with Twitter to deliver the first 360-degree Twitter Amplify campaign in a deal with Samsung for the 2016 Finals series between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.