Twitch has signed a deal making it the official streaming partner for USA Basketball. The agreement will run through 2020 and confirms more live sport coming to the popular streaming platform.
USA Basketball is the governing body for all American Basketball competition. It sends mens and womens teams to international tournaments all over the world. This year they are competing in the FIBA Basketball World Cup taking place in China between August 31 and September 15. The deal will also include the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Fans will be able to watch live action as well as keep up to date with all USA Basketball content at the NBA’s official Twitch channel. Fans will also be able to take advantage of co-streaming the games in order to provide their own commentary.
In an announcement by USA Basketball, Jim Tooley CEO spoke positively to showcasing USA Basketball on a fresh platform.
“Our partnership with Twitch is an exciting and unique opportunity to showcase USA Basketball events through their robust streaming audience worldwide,” Tooley said.
Michael Aragon, senior vice-president of content at Twitch, was complimentary of the passion of basketball fans.
“The NBA was one of our first partners outside of gaming, so we’re very familiar with the passion of their fans. Twitch and USA Basketball is a perfect fit for multiplayer entertainment,” Aragon said.
The deal does not include NBA games as the league’s media rights are currently tied up with broadcasters ESPN, ABC, and TNT through the end of the 2025 season. This partnership will, however, allow the NBA to experiment with digital streams as more and more fans move away from traditional methods of viewing the games.
Twitch already does some business with the NBA, as the NBA 2K League is streamed on Twitch to a modest but consistent audience.
This new partnership means the possibility of millions of new viewers coming to Twitch that could ordinarily fall outside the core audience of gaming. It remains to be seen whether some of the audience will check out some of Twitch’s gaming content and perhaps become esports fans as a result.