North American basketball’s NBA has agreed an extended content deal with social media giant Twitter.
Under the multi-year extension, the two parties will bring additional content to Twitter Spaces, the platform’s live audio feature.
The NBA’s 40 scheduled Twitter Spaces will include 75th Anniversary-themed versions planned around key moments and marquee events such as Christmas Day games, NBA All-Star and the NBA Finals.
The Spaces events will feature NBA players, legends and other members of the league and will also allow for sponsorship, giving brands “new opportunities to connect and engage with fans through live NBA audio”.
The NBA will also continue to provide live content, highlights, Twitter Moments (tweet-curated news stories), and live streams that are complementary to game broadcasts on Turner Sports’ TNT network.
The NBA and Twitter will offer real-time highlights throughout the regular season, playoffs and finals as well as localised content for international regions for brands to align with.
Additionally, for the first time ever, highlight franchises will also be available from the @NBABet and @NBAFantasy accounts.
Jennifer Chun, NBA senior vice-president and head of content partnerships, said: “We look forward to building on our innovations with Twitter by bringing live, interactive audio content to Twitter Spaces and driving NBA fans on Twitter to engage with NBA live game telecasts and direct-to-consumer offerings.”
NBA Digital, the NBA’s joint venture with Turner, will continue offering #NBATwitterLive, a complementary live streaming option for the second halves of select NBA games on TNT.
Since joining Twitter in 2009, the NBA has built one of the largest followings on the social network, with more than 380 million followers globally across all league, team and player platforms.
Sarah Personette, chief customer officer at Twitter, added: “With the addition of NBA Twitter Spaces to go along with highlights and #NBATwitterLive, we’re able to deliver premium content to the NBA’s biggest fans while giving brands more opportunities to align with one of the most exciting communities on Twitter.”
Meanwhile, Fiba, the sport’s international governing body, has signed a new deal with Finnish commercial broadcaster Nelonen Media to air the country's national team games for the next four years.
Nelonen will broadcast all Finnish national team games on one of its flagship free-to-air channels and also offer a comprehensive package of other key games on both free-to-air and OTT services.
The broadcaster’s rights agreement will run through to 2025 and will commence with the upcoming European qualifiers for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The qualifiers for the next World Cup will begin at the end of this month. Finland take on Sweden on 25 November in their first qualifier.
Nelonen's contract includes the World Cup in 2023 – which will be jointly hosted for the first time by the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia – and the qualifying windows, the Fiba EuroBasket 2025 and its qualifiers and the Fiba Olympic qualifying tournament in the lead up to Paris 2024.
The deal adds to Nelonen’s basketball portfolio as it already shows the NBA and top-tier Finnish league.