Tech Transformers

Twitter inked a deal with the NBA to livestream exclusive content


Twitter has inked a deal with the National Basketball Association (NBA) to broadcast exclusive live programming via the social media site as it looks to counter stagnant user growth.

The partnership will see the NBA deliver a free livestream of a new weekly pre-game show with "elements created specifically for integration with Twitter conversation". And the NBA will also announce a second show exclusive to Twitter ahead of the 2016-2017 season. Both shows will begin during that season.

The deal comes as Twitter looks to battle stagnant user growth by providing exclusive and unique content via its platforms. Earlier this year, the NFL struck an exclusive deal with Twitter to stream Thursday night games during the 2016 season. Twitter also live streamed this year's Wimbledon tennis tournament.

Andre Iguodala #9 of the Golden State Warriors defends LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016.
Ezra Shaw | Getty Images

As part of the agreement, the NBA will also increase its content across Periscope, Twitter's livestreaming service, and Vine, a short video tool also owned by the social media company. The NBA will be posting more videos from major events, player question and answer sessions and behind-the-scenes-access, but will not be livestreaming actual games.

"We've seen technology bring fans closer to our game, teams and players in ways we could have only imagined a decade ago," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, said in a press release on Tuesday. "This expanded partnership will help feed our fans' growing demand for the NBA by more deeply integrating the league across Twitter's many platforms."

Twitter is betting heavily on live video to help it grow but is facing stiff competition from the likes of Facebook which has been investing heavily in its own live streaming platform, and Snapchat which is bolstering its advertising business.

For the NBA, the deal will allow it to reach more viewers, considering its own Twitter account as 22.4 million followers.

Twitter has been making a number of efforts to help engagement and growth. On Tuesday, it opened its verification process up allowing anyone to apply to get a blue tick.