The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Verizon Communications partnered up so that exclusive sportive content is now available on Verizon's video streaming service, named Go90.
Another important detail is that the deal officially makes Verizon the wireless provider of the NBA, meaning that the data carrier gets the title of NBA partner in the All-Star Slam Dunk competition. Verizon also receives the partner title for the NBA Draft, but no financial details reached the public.
The ad-backed service is open to all SIM owners, regardless of whether they subscribed to Verizon or not. Sports coverage is one of the unique selling points that Go90 puts its faith (and money) in.
Sources claim that the two organizations signed a three-year agreement for $400 million.
Go90 entered the race for supremacy in the video streaming world a month ago, with content that targets the 18-34-year old demographic. Its launch featured live events, original web series from ESPN, NFL Network, Food Network and Comedy Central.
"There's never been a more exciting time to be teaming with the NBA," noted Diego Scotti, Chief Marketing Officer for Verizon. "The NBA has rapidly evolved into a year-round digital experience that engages millions of young, cross cultural fans, in many interesting ways. We are always looking for new ways to add value for our customers, and this partnership creates great opportunities to do just that. We're thrilled to bring exclusive and awesome content to go90 and to offer unprecedented access to unique experiences."
Live sports make up an area that Go90 covers and delivers better than rival services such as Hulu , Netflix, Comcast's Watchable and YouTube. Go90's beginning in the crowded video streaming market was a positive one, but no specific numbers are currently available to offer a more detailed view.
One important difference between the audience of live sporting events and people who watch regular TV is that the former actually watch the ads during break time, making it a huge market for advertisers.
According to a survey conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association, 32 percent of fans look forward to seeing live sports on mobile devices. The increased interest for mobile sports streaming rose 20 percent since 2010.
The deal between Verizon and NBA provides additional bonuses to subscribers of the video streaming service: special offer packages are available to basketball enthusiasts, who can choose from a list of almost 1,000 games that are outside the American market.
Voices familiar with the deal mentioned that original series are in development as well, and fans have a good chance of being pleasantly surprised by the players' bios or behind-the-scenes videos soon to be released.
"Verizon has an outstanding reputation for reliability and innovation, and thanks to this new partnership the NBA will be able to connect with fans in places and ways we never have before," Bill Koenig, President of Global Media Distribution for the NBA, added.