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NBA targets youth market with Verizon content partnership

US telecommunications company Verizon has agreed a multi-year content and marketing partnership with the NBA basketball league that will bring daily league highlights, new original series and access to some live games to its new mobile video streaming service Go90.

Announced today (Wednesday), the deal makes Verizon the official wireless service provider of the NBA, Women’s National Basketball Association, NBA Development League and USA Basketball. 

As part of the new partnership Go90 will feature extensive NBA content including daily highlights, original content and access to live out-of-market games through the NBA League Pass service.

Additionally, all Go90 users will have access to exclusive NBA-related content and will be able to share select clips and highlights via SMS, Facebook and Twitter. The NBA and Go90 will collaborate on bringing a number of original exclusive series to the Go90 platform.

Throughout the partnership, Verizon will be integrated into NBA TV, NBA.com, the NBA App and other NBA Digital assets, along with national broadcast partners ABC, ESPN and TNT.  Additionally, Verizon will collaborate with multiple NBA teams.

The New York Times newspaper said the deal is not an exclusive content partnership, leaving the NBA free to pursue other such agreements.

Go90 offers live events, prime-time television and original web series from the likes of sports broadcaster ESPN and the NFL Network, the league-owned pay-television broadcaster. Aimed at 18- to 34-year-olds, the free, advertising-supported service is available to all mobile users regardless of whether they subscribe to Verizon.

“We have the opportunity here in the mobile world to go in and work with the leagues, and work with certain networks to bring just the live sports,” Brian Angiolet, senior vice-president for product and marketing at Go90, told the Times. “People ask why Go90 is different than Comcast’s Watchable, YouTube, Netflix and Hulu. Live sports is one major reason why.”

William S. Koenig, president of global media distribution for the NBA, added: “Go90 is really targeted at the young, millennial, tech-savvy subscriber, and that is something that we are also hoping to reach.”