NBA 2K League and Twitch announced today that they are entering a multiyear partnership which will include live streams of the esports league on everyone's favorite video game streaming service.
This partnership with Twitch is the first media rights deal for the NBA 2K League. NBA 2K League is the first esports league actually operated by a professional sports league in the United States. The league will debut on May 1 and features 102 of the best NBA 2K players from around the globe.
“This is a groundbreaking partnership for the NBA 2K League,” said NBA 2K League Managing Director Brendan Donohue. “Twitch shares our innovative spirit and commitment to putting the gaming community first, and is the ideal home to provide our passionate 2K, NBA and esports fans around the world with the opportunity to catch all the excitement of our inaugural season.”
NBA 2K League made its live premiere on Twitch with the draft on April 4. Each of the 17 teams selected six players and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was even in attendance to announce the first overall pick. This was the first time a commissioner of a professional sports league ever appeared on Twitch.
"From video games to real games, the NBA continues to innovate around basketball when it comes to engaging with the Twitch community," said Justin Dellario, Head of Esports Programs, Twitch. "By partnering with Twitch for the NBA 2K League, that pioneering spirit will continue to be reflected when we elevate this latest entry to the world of competitive gaming with interactive features and our global stage."
Twitch will be working very closely with the NBA 2K League to provide Extensions, like interactive custom overlays, in an effort to provide fans with a truly immersive and enhanced live game spectating experience. If the streaming partnership wasn't enough, Twitch will also serve as a Founding Partner of the NBA 2K League.
This partnership is the second time Twitch and the NBA have joined forces. The NBA G League and Twitch announced a live streaming partnership last December. NBA 2K fans and esports fans alike can check out all of the NBA 2K League games on Twitch. Games will be available as VODs after each live broadcast. Today's announcement is just another effort on the part of Twitch to expand into the sports segment of livestreams. Just last week, Twitch announced a Fan-Controlled Football League that will turn real football into a video game.