NBA sign a deal with Twitch to broadcast every NBA 2K esports league game

The NBA are the latest major sports league to partner with a media company in order to broadcast their own official esports tournament, on EA Sports’ NBA 2K.

The basketball league has partnered with Twitch, the esports streaming platforms owned by Amazon, to broadcast all of the league’s games, which will be up to 199 next season and including regular season games, play-offs and in season tournaments.

After each broadcast, the games will be available free to viewers on-demand.

“This is a ground-breaking partnership for the NBA 2K League,” said NBA 2K League managing director Brendan Donohue. “Twitch shares our innovative spirit and commitment to putting the gaming community first, and is the ideal home to provide our passionate 2K, NBA and esports fans around the world with the opportunity to catch all the excitement of our inaugural season.”

“From video games to real games, the NBA continues to innovate around basketball when it comes to engaging with the Twitch community,” said Justin Dellario, head of esports programs for Twitch. “By partnering with Twitch for the NBA 2K League, that pioneering spirit will continue to be reflected when we elevate this latest entry to the world of competitive gaming with interactive features and our global stage.”

Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen more and more sports rights holders create significant structures for creating their own official esports leagues. La Liga are perhaps the most significant European footballing rights holder to create a league, and have added some hefty corporate partners to boost its viability – including bringing in McDonalds as a naming partner.

Esports is undoubtedly a burgeoning sector within the sports industry, but when it comes to those esports that simulate sports which already exist in traditional format things feel a little bit different. If sim sports are to take off in the way that many expect, they will need the authentic links with the traditional sports themselves. Moves like this one from the NBA, from La Liga, or from clubs like Roma, Schalke and even Manchester City getting involved officially with esports, that looks to be happening.

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Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 751 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and editor of Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan_

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