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NBA Launches First Ever Live Event on Facebook

Jason Barrett

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The NBA and Turner Sports are launching the league’s first-ever live event on Facebook this week — but that doesn’t mean the social giant will be turning into an outlet for live sports broadcasting anytime soon.

The NBA’s “Real Training Camp,” featuring LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, Oct. 1, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET will be simulcast on the NBA TV cable channel, NBA TV’s Facebook page and NBA.com. The program will show the team’s practice routine, and include interviews with players, coaches and front-office personnel. NBA Digital is jointly managed by the NBA and Turner Sports.

Facebook’s goal is to be a robust video platform for any media partner, and the company today hasn’t shown interest in licensing content. Past events streamed live on Facebook include ABC’s “Oscars Backstage” coverage this past February.

Still, it’s worth noting that this year the National Football League inked a deal with Yahoo to live stream a regular-season game for free over the Internet to users worldwide, the first time the NFL has granted exclusive rights to a digital-only distributor.

Sure, the NFL game, which is being played overseas, isn’t one traditional TV networks really wanted. The matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars is being played in London on Sunday, Oct. 25, starting at 9:30 a.m. ET. But it could be a proving ground for how the business of live sports broadcasting online works in this distribution model.

NBA TV, in addition to the Cavaliers’ training-camp special show on Thursday, this week also will air “Real Training Camp” segments with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks and Memphis Grizzlies that will also be streamed live on NBA.com.

“We have a long history with Facebook and are excited to team up with them for another first-of-its-kind initiative,” said Albert “Scooter” Vertino, G.M. of NBA Digital and senior VP of programming, Turner Sports. “Our goal is always to provide the most compelling content for our fans any way they choose to consume it and this initiative will expand the visibility of this quality daytime programming.”

Facebook, which has been aggressively building out its video features and advertising business, this summer launched a live-streaming video service that’s currently only available to celebrities and other verified public figures and media partners.

Credit to Variety who originally published this article

Sports TV News

FanDuel TV Strikes Deal With ONE Championship Martial Arts

“We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

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FanDuel TV and ONE Championship Martial Arts have struck a deal that will see the MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling series air weekly events on the newly launched channel.

“We’re eager to continue expanding the variety of content we’re offering at FanDuel TV to introduce our audience to emerging sports,” said FanDuel Chief Commercial Officer Mike Raffensperger. “We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

ONE Championship is a top-five global sports property for digital viewership and engagement according to Nielsen measurements.

“We are thrilled to join the FanDuel TV lineup and give our passionate U.S. audience yet another way to engage with ONE Championship,” said ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. “Having a quality partner in FanDuel will help raise the profile of our company in the region and provide their viewers with action-packed martial arts events like they have never seen before.”

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Bob Costas Re-Lives First Announcing Assignment For NBC

“My biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979.”

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Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas appeared on KNBR’s Tolbert & Copes Thursday to discuss the death of Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. But before the conversation turned to the recently departed pitcher, the show asked Costas about what he has announced that would surprise someone. He reminisced about his first time on the air for NBC.

“My very first assignment for NBC, my biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979,” Costas recounted. “There was a program on NBC then called Sports World. It was an anthology series that was their answer to the gold standard, ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

“So they traveled the globe, like Wide World of Sports did. So they sent me, wearing a red NBC jacket, to Tokyo to cover a sumo wrestling tournament with seven-time world power-lifting champion Larry Pacifico as my color man. Now, this is all the Japanese I learned as we came on the air: ‘Minasan kon’nichwa watashinoamaeha Bob Costas’, which means ‘Hello everyone, my name is Bob Costas’. If ever there was typecasting, when they sat and looked at their roster of announcers and went ‘Who should we send to the sumo wrestling? It’s gotta be Costas, who’s entire body weight would constitute one meal for the sumo wrestling champion.”

Costas departed NBC Sports in 2019 after 40 years with the network, announcing MLB, NBA, and the Olympics, in addition to his work with the network’s sumo wrestling coverage.

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Sports TV News

Matt Leinart, Alex Smith Make Wager Over Pac-12 Championship Game

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous. I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.”

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FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart and ESPN analyst Alex Smith have made a friendly wager over the upcoming Pac-12 Championship Game.

USC, Leinart’s alma mater, is slated to play Utah, where Smith attended, in the game Friday evening on FOX from Las Vegas.

The two agreed to don the other player’s jersey. “At least it will be 11,” Smith said, noting he and Leinart both wore the number during their playing days.

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous,” Leinart said when presented with the offer. “I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.” Smith jokingly responded by calling USC “Free Agent University”. He added he would overnight Leinart a jersey to ensure he had one if the Utes were victorious.

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