Microsoft and the NBA just became the best of buddies. This morning, they signed a multiyear deal for the computer giant to become the official AI, cloud, and laptop provider for the league starting next season.
I know, that’s somewhat boring news, but what is exciting is that they’re working together in creating a direct-to-consumer platform. Meaning, a streaming service that promises to ‘transform’ how fans experience their NBA action, and in some cases, borrow concepts from the video-game world. One of the key features this new platform will deliver, is next-generation game telecasts, including real-time statistic overlays, alternative audio and video feeds, and social media integration. Microsoft also stated that it would assist the NBA with its historical video archive and data sources to surface them in new ways to NBA consumers.
So, what they’re telling us, is that this platform will learn what each fan likes and will present optimized content to that user over time. As a basic example, if a fan is watching a game, and a player breaks a key statistical milestone, the digital service will push a list of clips of the last player to break that same milestone, in real-time. The idea of this partnership is to bring together the NBA global fanbase and customize/localize each experience.
Just think about this concept for a second. If this plays out the way I think it will, this could become a ‘Netflix’ for the NBA. Every game since 1946, on-demand. And while you’re watching a live NBA match, it knows you love 3-pointers, so it shoots out customized statistics that you couldn’t have even imagined. Sign me up!
Catch you Monday.