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Volume 25 No. 132
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NBA's Latest Twitter Deal Continues Focus On Short-Form Content

Silver cited the NBA's strategy to engage younger fans without a traditional linear TV subscription
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league’s newly expanded relationship with Twitter to create iso-player live streams voted on by fans represents a continuation of a core league strategy to experiment actively around short-form digital content while still guarding their primary media rights contracts. “We have a lot of content and we have so much opportunity for experimentation that we’ve felt that as long as we were protecting the live game feeds themselves, we could let our fans go in terms of pilots,” Silver said yesterday at CES in Las Vegas. “Where maybe some other leagues were focused on takedown notices and taking content off the Internet, our view is a snacks and meals analogy where we let people snack on content as long we were protecting the [live game] meals themselves.” Silver, appearing with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, said the latest move also is another strategy to engage younger fans who may not have a traditional linear TV subscription. “There is clearly that younger audience that isn’t subscribing to pay TV in the way I did or the way our business started but still consume massive amounts of NBA [content],” Silver said. “So this is an opportunity for them to see live video.” Dorsey marveled at the still-growing fan passion for the NBA on Twitter, a dynamic fueled heavily by active engagement by individual players. He said the league is "one of the most exciting, entertaining and insightful parts of Twitter.” Dorsey: ”The NBA is theater 24/7. These players and their lives are fascinating and we enjoy helping them service these fans.” Dorsey declined to substantively address potential corrections to Twitter policy in the wake of burner accounts being used by Warriors F Kevin Durant and former 76ers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo, among others. “There are people using Twitter in ways we weren’t necessarily expecting,” said Dorsey. He added he intends to learn the intent behind the behavior and determine where Twitter may have fallen short.

BOUNCE WITH ME: The NBA, Yahoo Sports and Turner are collaborating on a nightly show designed for mobile users called "The Bounce." The show will debut on Jan. 21 and will air live five nights per week beginning at 8:00pm ET through the regular season. The show was announced by Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg during his keynote address at CES on Tuesday and is part of the multiyear content partnership between the company and the NBA.