At a time when digital platforms are making a serious play for sports-related content, Canadian multi-channel network BroadbandTV and the NBA have announced the launch of a new video network called NBA Playmakers that will feature content created by millennial basketball enthusiasts.
BroadbandTV and the NBA are tapping creators who have “passion” and a “unique voice,” according to a press release, and members of the network will gain access to NBA footage, games, and special events, as well as NBA production facilities and new merchandise.
The NBA Playmakers network will kick off during the NBA Finals in June with a group of creators producing a digital version of the league’s ad campaign for the playoffs titled, "Every Second Counts," which features an original song by Timbaland.
“Sports is a passion-driven content vertical [and] a market with massive potential,” BroadbandTV CEO Shahrzad Rafati said in a statement. “We’re empowering creators to build the future of sports entertainment by partnering with one of the most renowned sports leagues in the world, and arming them with the content, tools, and solutions they need to be successful.”
The NBA already operates a highly successful YouTube channel, which was launched in 2007 and now counts nearly 7 million subscribers and more than 3.4 billion views—which is more than any other U.S. professional sports league, it says.
Additionally, at YouTube’s BroadbandTV event during the NewFronts, the NBA announced it would be adding its clips to the Google Preferred advertising program and launching two new virtual reality series on YouTube, offering a behind-the-scenes look at top players and arenas.
BroadbandTV—which says it has 15.1 billion monthly impressions across its network of roughly 75,000 channels, making it the largest multi-platform network in the world—has a relationship with the NBA that dates back to 2009, when it began to manage fan-uploaded NBA content onto video platforms including YouTube.