WarnerMedia Inks Shaquille O’Neal to Multi-Platform Deal

WarnerMedia’s Turner Sports has signed NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal to multiyear extension that will expand the outsized personality’s media scope beyond the hardwood.

A 15-time NBA All-Star and four-time NBA Champion, O’Neal will continue in his role as studio analyst for TNT’s Sports Emmy Award winning “Inside the NBA,” along with the “NBA on TNT Tuesday Night” franchise.

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He’ll also appear on NBA TV and contribute to NBA.com. His NBA TV airtime will include a new show in development on “The Business of Basketball,” with more details to be announced at a later date. O’Neal will expand his “Shaqtin-a-Fool” franchise to include new genres and platforms, contribute podcasts to the WarnerMedia Podcast Network.

“Shaq is so critical to our success, and such a huge part of the heart and soul of our coverage,” Jeff Zucker, chairman, WarnerMedia News and Sports, said in a statement.

Tara August, SVP of talent services and special projects at Turner Sports, said O’Neal’s appeal to consumers resonates beyond sports.

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“His fun, infectious personality is engaging, entertaining and beloved by fans,” August said. “We’re thrilled to extend and deepen our relationship with him for many years to come.”

Yahoo Sports Bowing NBA-Themed Studio Streaming Show

The National Basketball Association, Turner Sports and Yahoo Sports are set to debut a live nightly studio show, “The Bounce,” available on Yahoo Sports and the Yahoo Sports app on iOS and Android beginning Jan. 21, with a special 5-8 p.m. ET launch.

The show will air five nights per week — Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday — from 8-11 p.m. ET through the end of the 2018-19 NBA regular season.

This mobile-specific show is part of a multiyear deal and claims to be the first of its kind, offering the league through analysis from a roster of hosts along with in-progress highlights, a live scoreboard, social media integrations, and behind-the-scenes footage.

“The Bounce” will be co-produced by Turner Sports and Yahoo Sports from the Turner Studios in Atlanta, featuring rotating analysts Gary Payton, Swin Cash and Jason Terry, as well as Turner commentators Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, Allie LaForce and Stephanie Ready as studio hosts.

Geoff Reiss, GM of Yahoo Sports, said the show expands upon Verizon’s partnership with the NBA.

“The Bounce … will give fans a new way to stay up-to-date on what’s happening with the NBA, while providing them with access to NBA League Pass [SVOD service] all in one place.”

NBA League Pass has been available on Yahoo since last season. Yahoo Sports is also the official fantasy game for NBA.com.

“The Bounce builds on Yahoo Sports’ comprehensive NBA programming that already includes editorial coverage, traditional highlights and the league’s official Fantasy Game,” said David Denenberg, SVP of global media distribution and business affairs, NBA.

In addition to the premiere of series, the NBA’s MLK Jr. Day programming will feature a slate of five nationally televised games across TNT and NBA TV.

“We’re looking forward to producing this innovative form of content for NBA fans as a supplement to the in-depth coverage available on NBA TV and across the NBA Digital portfolio,” said Scooter Vertino, SVP of production, programming and content, NBA Digital.

 

 

Twitter to Live-Stream 20 NBA Games From Player POV

The National Basketball Association, Turner Sports and Twitter Jan. 9 announced a live-streaming deal that affords hardwood aficionados in the United States access to 20 “NBA on TNT” games this season.

In a first, during the second halves of those games, users will be able to watch the action through a single-player, isolated camera view. Underscoring the interactive element of the deal, users vote on Twitter for the player they want to see featured during the live stream of select regular-season and playoff games airing on TNT as well as the 2019 NBA All-Star Game.

“The NBA Twitter community is among the most vibrant in sports and entertainment,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “While watching NBA games on TNT, our fans on Twitter can now enjoy a unique second screen experience that will further enhance the way fans engage with each other and the game.”

The live-streams will debut during TNT’s presentation of the 2019 NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 17, with an ISO-CAM of a fan-voted player. The schedule of regular-season and playoff live streams will be announced at a later date, along with exclusive commentators who will provide analysis for this second screen offering.

“This complementary live stream on Twitter — from the distinct vantage point of the fan-voted, most coveted player on a given night – will provide an additive experience for fans to go along with the fully-produced coverage on TNT,” said Turner president David Levy.

As part of the expanded relationship, the NBA — through its NBA Digital partnership with Turner — will continue to provide on-demand content from the @NBA Twitter handle, including video of pre-game warmups, in-game and post-game highlights, and behind-the-scenes content.

Since the NBA joined Twitter in 2009, the league has built the largest Twitter community of any sports league in the world with 27.5 million followers.

Turner Bowing Live Sports Streaming Service

As expected, Turner Sports will launch a live-sports streaming service in April. Dubbed, “Bleacher Report Live,” after the B/R online sports information platform, the service will initially be free, with “flexible” pricing plans to be rolled out later.

The platform reportedly will bow April 7 streaming “Spring League” football with Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.

The service – which is powered by Turner’s iStreamPlanet – is slated to carry UEFA Champions and Europa League soccer, NBA League Pass, PGA Championship, NCAA championship events (excluding football and basketball), lacrosse, rally racing and arm wrestling, among other sports.

“B/R Live” comes as Disney readies “ESPN Plus,” a $4.99 monthly SVOD service powered by BAMTech targeting cord-cutters, millennials and other non-pay-TV subscribers.

Notable to B/R Live – subscribers can acquire access on a per-game basis.

“That’s very important,” Lenny Daniels, president of Turner Sports, said March 27 at a press event.

Indeed, consumers will also be able to acquire “micro-transaction” access, which includes minutes of live action to a sporting event.

“When you have a two-and-a-half-hour event, some fans know they don’t have time to watch [a whole NBA game],” said NBA commissioner Adam Silver. “To me, it’s a logical evolution of where we’ve gone [with NBA Pass].”