The International Basketball Federation (Fiba) has launched a new esports competition, which it will stream coverage of across its Facebook, Twitch and YouTube channels.
The Fiba Esports Open will take place from June 19-21 and will mark Fiba’s first-ever international esports competition for national teams.
Games will be played remotely on NBA 2K using the Pro-AM mode and allowing full customisation of player avatars, uniforms and arena designs. Each team will consist of seven players, with five on the court and two reserves.
National teams set to participate include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Cyprus, Indonesia, Italy, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, New Zealand, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine.
The Fiba Esports Open will be produced from a new Fiba esports studio in the Latvian capital of Riga. Every game will be streamed on Fiba’s Facebook, Twitch and YouTube channels with live commentary in English. A daily four-hour show will be streamed, showing up to six games.
Frank Leenders, Fiba’s media and marketing services director general, said: “The esports initiative was identified by the Fiba Central Board as important and consistent with the strategic objective to enlarge the Fiba family. In these challenging times, we feel encouraged by the enthusiasm of some of our national federations who are already active in this space and have been our charter partners during the last few months.”
In recent years, Fiba has taken a proactive approach to live streaming its age-grade games on Facebook and YouTube. Fans can watch age-grade and regional matches as part of an initiative set up in 2014 that derives revenues from a share of advertising.
Across its various club and international competitions, Fiba has adopted a ‘hybrid’ approach to its streaming activities. It promotes (and invests in) the free live streaming for age-grade games that struggle for broadcast exposure, but also offers the premium LiveBasketball.TV OTT service – priced at £8.99 per month – to showcase its top properties.
Fiba set up its YouTube channel in 2007 and it currently has 990,000 subscribers.