NBA Goes for a Full Court Press for Online Viewers

Bryan Perez, SVP and GM, NBA Digital at NTVL 2010

After branching out to mobile and online, the NBA is coming full circle to the TV set, focusing on TV app distribution. Bryan Perez, senior vice president and GM of NBA Digital said at GigaOM’s NewTeeVee Live conference that the league plans to be on the top five TV manufacturers by the end of the season and is in talks with game consoles and set-top box makers for more distribution of its League Pass service.

Perez is leveraging some of what NBA learned during the last playoffs, which were distributed on Roku and Vizio. Now, after launching with Google TV, the NBA plans to add support for Samsung’s TV platform in the coming weeks. It’s part of a larger plan to meet NBA fans wherever they are, said Perez. “If we’re going to address our fan base and continue to grow it, we need to follow them as they adopt these new technologies. It’s incumbent on us to develop simultaneously for multiple platforms,” he said.
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That’s not to say that the NBA won’t be looking for help with its plan, which Perez said presents, “a tremendous development challenge.” The NBA is trying to leverage previous work on mobile apps as it did with the Google TV app. And it’s hoping for more support from manufacturers instead of just walking away with an SDK. Ultimately, Perez said he hopes manufacturers agree on more open standards and common development platforms.

The NBA recognizes that it needs to be on multiple screens to satisfy its users. This year, it added Three-Point Play, which provides League Pass users on certain cable and satellite networks to receive games on TV, online and now mobile devices.

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