USA Basketball’s first of nine exhibition games in the lead-up to Rio begins tonight, and fans will have two ways to watch the game: on NBA TV and on Facebook.
NBA TV, which is managed by one of the NBA’s two linear broadcast partners, Turner, will livestream all nine of the exhibition games on Facebook. It is a way for both the NBA and its broadcast partners to test the livestreaming waters before jumping into a full-fledged partnership like the one the NFL entered into with Twitter to livestream a regular season game.
The NBA did announce a partnership with Twitter earlier this week to produce original video content for the platform, but this content does not include livestreaming of games.
Last October, NBA TV worked with Facebook to simulcast an episode of Real Training Camp. As Scooter Vertino, Turner Sports’ general manager of NBA Digital and SVP of programming, told us at the time: “The goal of NBA Digital has been to provide the most compelling content for our fans any way they choose to consume it. Teaming up with Facebook for this first-ever simulcast provided us another unique opportunity to expand on that approach and expose our content to an even greater audience.”
The simulcast will be sponsored by Verizon, which enables NBA TV to replace commercials with content – an experience that will make the stream more compelling (and sticky) on Facebook. According to Recode, Facebook is not paying the NBA to host the livestream and it will not get a cut of the revenue from the Verizon sponsorship.
Below, a full list of the exhibition games being simulcast on NBA TV and Facebook.
· July 22, 9 p.m. EST: USA Men’s National Team vs. Argentina
· July 24, 8 p.m. EST: USA Men’s National Team vs. China
· July 25, 10 p.m. EST: USA Women’s National Team vs. USA Basketball Select Team
· July 26, 10 p.m. EST: USA Men’s National Team vs. China
· July 27, 7:30 p.m. EST: USA Women’s National Team vs. France
· July 29, 7 p.m. EST: USA Women’s National Team vs. Canada
· July 29, 9 p.m. EST: USA Men’s National Team vs. Venezuela
· July 31, 4 p.m. EST: USA Women’s National Team vs. Australia
· Aug. 1, 8 p.m. EST: USA Men’s National Team vs. Nigeria