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NBA unveils digital and broadcast innovations for new season

Web platforms and League Pass streaming service upgraded.

21 December 2020 Tom Bassam

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  • Three alternative streams confirmed for new season, including a gambling option
  • Viewing option enhancements trialled during Orlando bubble retained on League Pass

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has unveiled a series of digital and broadcast innovations on the eve of the new 2020/21 season.

The innovations build off many of the fan engagement tools used as the NBA played out the 2019/20 campaign in the biosecure bubble at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

The official NBA app and NBA.com desktop site have been upgraded and the league has confirmed additional alternative streams for select games within the NBA League Pass over-the-top (OTT) platform, interactive game overlays and the option to download matches for offline viewing.

US-based League Pass and NBA TV subscribers will have the option of ‘NBA BetStreams’, where league partners such as Bleacher Report, Action Network and Yahoo Sports will take over gambling-focused broadcasts, with overlays featuring betting odds displayed throughout.

‘Sideline Stream’, which includes popular alternate angles such as Rail Cam and Courtside Cam, returns after a successful run during the Orlando bubble. Also being retained is the ‘Influencers Stream’, which sees popular social media personalities present a weekly game on League Pass.

The US service has also added expanded language options, including Portuguese, Spanish and Korean.

“Orlando gave us the opportunity to innovate in a way that we never had before, and really to expedite a lot of the different testing we had already planned to do,” Sara Zuckert, the NBA’s head of next-generation telecasts, told USA Today. “Normally, we would’ve used Summer League and some of our other testing grounds to do these things as one-offs. But this was just a way to bring a lot of this to light.”

The NBA’s reduced 72-game regular season begins on 22nd December. Read SportsPro’s commercial guide to the 2020/21 campaign here.

The NBA has unveiled a series of digital and broadcast innovations for the new 2020/21 season

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