Twitch has partnered with the National Basketball Association to stream USA Basketball games globally through 2020, according to Reuters. USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization that’s the governing body for basketball in America; it’s the outfit that organizes the men’s and women’s teams that compete internationally. (This year, it will send teams to the FIBA World Cup in China — which happens every four years and is basically the same as the soccer version.)
The move brings even more live sports to Twitch, which currently plays host to the NFL’s Thursday Night Football among other content, like NBA minor league games. (In the past year, Twitch has signed deals that include co-streaming rights with the WWE, UEFA Champions League playoffs, MLS, and others.) As Reuters points out, the NBA’s media rights currently lie with ESPN, ABC, and TNT through its 2025 season, but partnering with Twitch opens up new avenues and possibilities for the league’s digital partnerships.
For Twitch, the partnership means the platform could draw in new viewers who aren’t in their core gaming audience. Twitch’s Eric Brunner, who’s a retired professional soccer player and the platform’s content acquisition lead, says that the streaming service is excited about expanding its partnership with the NBA. “They’re very open to exploring new ways to engage their community, like co-streaming USA Basketball on Twitch.” A spokesperson emphasized that sports will become even more of a priority for the streaming platform in the future.