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Volume 27 No. 35
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Adam Silver, NBA Embrace Impact That Internet, Social Media Can Have

The NBA has "made a very conscious decision to let basketball social media -- including amateur videos of in-game highlights -- fly free," according to Jason Gay of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said of the league utilizing Twitter, "If someone's tweeting that, for example, 'Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, you got to check them out, they're on right now playing San Antonio,' it's click -- instantaneous. For $6.99, you now buy that game -- it's yours." Silver "believes this tech is effectively redrawing the NBA map -- where the attention and power is, and more important, where it can go, which is basically anywhere." Silver said, "In the same way the Internet has disrupted every industry, it's disrupted the sports industry as well." Silver is clear that he "wants social media to supplement but not replace the live-watching experience." Silver: "The games are the meals and the highlights are the snacks. And we encourage our fans to snack before meals. But the meals are pristine and the meals live behind a paywall." Gay writes it should be "emphasized that nearly every sport is experiencing a form of social media revolution -- NFL Twitter is bonkers every Sunday." But it is clear there is "something going on in basketball, where the action seems ideally suited to a cut-and-paste environment," which the NBA "has chosen to embrace." Silver: "It is completely beyond our hands, but at the same time, we can help facilitate it" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/20).