Amazon paid close to $1 billion for Twitch three years ago, but the online retailer doesn’t want to use the live-streaming service only for video games. It would like to expand Twitch’s relevancy among a younger demographic by bringing in additional competition-based programming. The service just announced that starting this week, viewers can enjoy basketball just as they do video games.
Twitch reached an agreement with the NBA to stream games from the G League, its minor league where players develop with the possibility of getting called up to the professional level.
It’s a deal that provides the platform with up to six games every week throughout the season. The G League’s 2017-2018 season started in October, and the last game doesn’t tip-off until late March. Twitch doesn’t appear to be gaining access to the playoffs; however, over three months worth of basketball during the regular season should be enough to make the contract worth whatever Amazon is paying.
Viewers will be getting an immersive experience for watching the G League on Twitch. Chat will, of course, be a feature to have viewers engage with each other. But there are also Extensions, another standard feature on Twitch, that gives insights throughout games. You’ll be able to track specific player, team, and league stats without ever leaving the video player.
Some of the service’s famous faces will also make appearances during live-streams. They may not know a single team or player in the G League, but Twitch will have its basketball-crazy partners join broadcasts for sideline commentary.
The first game streaming live on Twitch will take place at 8:30PM ET on Friday, December 15. It’s a matchup between the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and the Austin Spurs. The following day there will be two games, and the Twitch’s G League schedule gets lighter with an average of one broadcast daily.