×

NBA, Verizon Pact for Live-Game Subscriptions on Yahoo, Tech Development

Verizon and the NBA have entered into an expanded deal covering distribution of live games on NBA League Pass — as well as highlights packages and other original content — across Yahoo and the telco’s other Oath properties.

Also under the multiyear deal, the league and Verizon will jointly develop new content formats and “unique fan experiences,” including augmented reality and VR, built on top of the Verizon Wireless 5G network.

Verizon’s NBA pact comes on the heels of the telco inking a major five-year deal with the NFL to distribute live games on mobile — available free in the U.S. — across Yahoo Sports, AOL, go90 and other Oath brands.

However, the NBA’s multiplatform media rights are locked up through 2025 with ESPN and Turner’s TNT. In order to watch the league’s games on Yahoo Sports, users must subscribe to the out-of-market League Pass service, which carries some 1,100 live games per year, for $99 per season (available only on mobile in the U.S.). Verizon also will let registered users watch up to eight NBA League Pass games for free. The new agreement expands Verizon’s previous deal to offer League Pass on go90.

“It’s our aim to be the first screen people go to for sports – and sports is the best aggregator of audience,” said Brian Angiolet, SVP, global chief media and content officer at Verizon.

In addition to the live games package, Verizon is getting a bunch of “shoulder content” under the NBA partnership.

Later this week Yahoo Sports will launch “NBA Morning Run,” a daily news and highlights show featuring talent from NBA TV and Yahoo. The league and Verizon also will work together on enhanced global Yahoo Fantasy experiences, including a simplified Official NBA Fantasy format, the ability for fans to start their fantasy season at any time, and custom fantasy highlight packages. Moreover, the partners will create original sports and lifestyle programming using the NBA’s archive of footage, to be distributed on Yahoo Sports and other Oath properties.

Verizon has worldwide distribution rights for the NBA’s fantasy-related content; for everything else, it has U.S. rights.

The technology joint development between Verizon and the NBA will focus on “the convergence of content, viewing experiences and technology,” Angiolet said. That is expected to include virtual-reality experiences produced with Oath’s RYOT Studio, as well as broadcasts that let viewers choose their own camera angles.

The NBA and Verizon will work on “reimagining” game broadcasts, according to Bill Koenig, the NBA’s president of global content and media distribution. Koenig noted that last month the NBA announced a deal with Amazon-owned Twitch, under which Twitch will live-stream up to six minor league games per week. The NBA G League games on Twitch include interactive statistics overlays, and a co-streaming option for select Twitch personalities to provide their own live commentary.

“Imagine a much more customizable way to watch an NBA game,” said Angiolet.

More Digital

  • Nick Eh 30, StoneMountain64

    CAA Signs Gaming Influencers Nick Eh 30, StoneMountain64

    CAA has signed two popular live-streaming battle royale gamers — Nicholas Amyoony, better known as Nick Eh 30, and David Steinberg, aka StoneMountain64 — for representation. CAA said it will work to create opportunities for Nick Eh 30 (above left) and StoneMountain64 (above right) in all areas, including TV, motion pictures, touring, digital distribution and [...]

  • Amazon Adds NBA League Pass to

    Amazon Adds NBA League Pass Live-Streaming Games to Prime Video Channels

    Amazon is bringing pro hoops action to Prime Video Channels: The ecommerce giant now offers NBA League Pass as part of its lineup of 150-plus subscription options for Prime members in the U.S. It’s the first U.S. live-sports subscription service on Prime Video Channels. Prime members can subscribe to NBA League Pass via Prime Video [...]

  • Fifty Shades of Grey

    International Piracy Ring Stole Over 25,000 Movie and TV Digital Files, U.S. Feds Say

    A five-member international hacking crime ring stole more than 25,000 files for Hollywood movies and TV shows and illegally offered hundreds of them for sale online, according to U.S. law enforcement officials. A federal grand jury in L.A. on Wednesday (Dec. 12) indicted five men, identified as residing in the U.K., India, Dubai and Malaysia, [...]

  • Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president

    Apple to Update iPhones in China to Avoid Sales Ban

    Apple is pushing out a software update to iPhones in China to address a recent court order obtained by Qualcomm that banned the sale of certain iPhone models in the country. The update will allow the company to continue selling its phones in China, company representatives told Reuters Friday morning. The Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court [...]

  • Kevin Reilly Variety Cover

    Kevin Reilly Named Content Chief for WarnerMedia Streaming Service

    Kevin Reilly — a veteran television exec who has led programming at NBC, FX, Fox, and most recently Turner Broadcasting — has been tapped to head content strategy for the still-nascent streaming service that WarnerMedia plans to launch next year. Reilly, who has led programming at Turner brands TNT and TBS since 2015, will serve [...]

  • Apple Culver City

    Apple Expects to Have Over 1,000 Employees in Culver City by 2022

    Apple announced plans to boost its L.A. presence, saying it expects to have more than 1,000 employees in Culver City, Calif., over the next three years, including its growing entertainment team. The move is part of the tech giant’s broader initiative to create 20,000 jobs in the U.S. by 2023 and includes a new $1 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content