The NBA is getting into the streaming game, teaming up with Microsoft to develop a new streaming service. The service is part of the multi-partnership with Microsoft that the league announced earlier today.
“This partnership with Microsoft will help us redefine the way our fans experience NBA basketball,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in an announcement. “Our goal, working with Microsoft, is to create customized content that allows fans – whether they are in an NBA arena or watching from anywhere around the world – to immerse themselves in all aspects of the game and engage directly with our teams and players.”
Microsoft and NBA Digital will be developing the platform on the Microsoft Azure cloud service, allowing for the service to deliver personalized game broadcasts and additional content to subscribers.
“First and foremost, we want to make it easy to be an NBA fan,” said Chris Benyarko, NBA Executive Vice President, Direct to Consumer. “By creating a new platform that brings together all the things that make up being an NBA fan — whether that’s watching games, buying a ticket, participating in fantasy or buying merchandise, we can use that platform to re-imagine and diversify what it means to be an NBA fan. One of our key focus areas will be to innovate and rethink how we present NBA games to fans and to really leverage technology to personalize and deepen those experiences and make them more engaging.”
The new service will expand on the coverage already offered on NBA League Pass, combining it with artificial intelligence capabilities to create a more unique and personalized user experience.
Fans will be able to set up an account and enter their preferences — whether it is favorite team, favorite players, interest in statistics, history, trivia, gaming and more — in order to provide some direction to the content the platform provides, while it also learns from your viewing habits.
Currently, the NBA is offering a free preview of NBA League Pass, with the remainder of the NBA season canceled due to coronavirus. Microsoft will become the “Official Artificial Intelligence Partner” and an “Official Cloud and Laptop Partner” for the NBA, WNBA, NBA G League and USA Basketball, beginning with the 2020-21 NBA season.