The world’s premiere basketball league has announced it will begin live streaming games from their minor league on Twitch starting December 15th.
The G League is considered a “research and development laboratory” for the NBA and often experiments with new rules, formats and content delivery.
Earlier this year NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he wanted NBA games to to look more like Twitch streams, according to Recode. The G League experiment will put that to the test and “aims to ambitiously innovate the digital presentation of basketball,” according to the NBA.
Twitch is better known for video game streaming and includes interactive features like audience chat and co-streaming – additional commentary from non content creators.
G League broadcasts will include co-streaming, stats overlays and loyalty programs, through the Twitch G league extension, the NBA said.
NBA G League President Malcolm Turner said the Twitch deal will be “groundbreaking.”
“By leveraging fan commentary, new technology and a passionate community, Twitch elevates video in a unique, engaging way that resonates with young viewers. We look forward to collaborating with their team to create something truly special for basketball fans,” Turner said.
According to Twitch senior vice president of content Michael Aragon, the platform offers “much more” than traditional TV broadcasts.
“From our broadcasters to our engaged community to our interactive product that brings everyone together, collaborating with their team is going to bring a unique experience to basketball fans worldwide. We are thrilled to be working with the NBA G League and look forward to seeing the impact of social video on mainstream sports,” he said.
The G League includes 26 teams with direct affiliations with NBA teams and “prepares players, coaches, officials, trainers and front-office staff for the NBA while acting as the league’s research and development laboratory.”
G League experiments have included four man referee crew (the NBA uses three), ‘flopping’ penalties and shortening overtime periods from five to two minutes.