Get ready NBA fans. Get ready for all the PogChamps and KreyGasms while you watch the NBA G League. Because starting December 15th the NBA G League will broadcast their games on Twitch. The NBA’s minor league teams will receive a major boost in visibility while also delving into more key audiences. Over half of all Twitch users are males between the ages of 18 and 49 according to Twitch, similar to the NBA’s numbers. Previously the NBA would broadcast G League games on Facebook Live and across the ESPN networks. Now, viewers will be able to watch the second division teams on Twitch. They will also be able to watch previous games on demand as well.
From G League to The League
Players in the former D League have been in a difficult spot for quite some time. For the longest time, the NBA’s minor league wasn’t a viable alternative. The level of play was comparable to top leagues in Europe, but they paid much, much less. And with few major successes coming from the minor league, players felt they had a better chance elsewhere. Commissioner Adam Silver has stated that he aims NBA minor league on the map as the premier stop before playing in the NBA. This has included a sponsorship deal with Gatorade to change the name from the Developmental League to the G League. Other plans have included the possibility of adding a team in Mexico City. Improving the quality of life for players vying for an opportunity to play in the NBA through the G League will help bring a better product to viewers.
NBA setting Trends
The NBA has been very forward in their plans to set trends. While many criticize other leagues like the NFL and MLB being resistant to change. The NBA however has welcomed new generation tastes with open arms. Many team owners are investing in eSports along with the NBA looking to launch their own eSports league. That league, the NBA 2K League, will begin in 2018. There have also been rumblings of an expansion of G League presents in the upcoming 2K games.
The G League experience on Twitch
NBA G League president Malcolm Turner has described the deal with Twitch to be “groundbreaking”. Not only does it provide a universally accessible point-of-viewership, it also “elevates video in a unique, engaging way that resonates with young viewers”. A recent development has been the increased usage of overlays and plug-ins for streamers. These allow channels to differentiate themselves and add an extra layer of creativity. Some of them include changing the way followers are shown, providing data for games that are being played, and providing other ways of interactivity. This is perfect for basketball as well. Sports are becoming increasingly data driven and viewers will be able to see statistics on demand using the twitch overlays. Stats like points, assists, rebounds, and team stats can be accessed while watching with a touch of the button. Additionally, select Twitch personalities and fans will be featured costreamers for G League games as well.