Twitch, the live-streaming platform most often associated with video games, has agreed to stream up to 6 live G-League (Gatorade sponsored NBA minor league) games each week (content will also available on demand), beginning on Friday Dec. 15th. Broadcasts will include interactive overlays (viewers can click a team name/logo for player, team, game and season stats), a loyalty program to reward viewer engagement during broadcasts (i.e. custom emotes for group chat) and the ability for users to provide their own live commentary (over the game feed) via the Twitch co-streaming feature. The Amazon-owned company with 15 million daily active users has been adding content beyond gaming competition; having recently launched 24-hour channels with Machinima (TWX) and CONtv (CIDM).
Howie Long-Short: While on the topic of e-sports, lifestyle and marketing agency Engine Shop, a subsidiary of Bruin Sports Capital, has acquired The Gamer Agency; a leader in esports strategy, tournament management, live broadcast production and digital distribution that has produced and broadcast +/-100 events in ’17. Bruin Sports Capital, founded by Jon Bon Jovi, raised a $250 million round in 2015; the world’s largest ad agency WPP, led the round. You can purchase WPP over-the-counter under the symbol WPPGF. Bruin Sports Capital owns a stake in On Location Experiences, the company that just acquired PrimeSport; it also invested in Courtside Ventures, an earlier stage VC firm that has invested in stockX and The Athletic.
Fan Marino: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has gone on record stating he’d like to see changes in the way sports broadcasts are presented; pointing out the lack of live stats and chatter surrounding the broadcast, that gamers have become accustomed to. Silver specifically referenced Twitch in his September comments, so this deal doesn’t exactly come out of left field. Coincidentally enough, NBC stumbled in to presenting NFL games in a manner familiar to gamers this season; introducing Madden-cam (perspective most often used in video games, from behind the tailback) during a Patriots/Falcons SNF game that was played in heavy fog, which prevented traditional cameras from picking up the game action. The view has been widely praised and has since been used as the main camera angle in a SNF broadcast.
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