Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
March 10, 2016: As part of a strategic effort to grow its fan base and reach consumers around the world, the NBA this week signed a deal with audio network TuneIn to air all of its games and jewel events, as well as those for sibling WNBA.
TuneIn, which said it has more than 60 million active monthly users, 100,000-plus radio stations and more than 5.7 million on-demand programs, also has sports deals with the NFL, MLB and English Premier League, as well as ESPN Radio, talkSport, CBS Radio sports stations and South By Southwest.
TuneIn also involved with the NCAA Div. I Men's Basketball Tournament, including a Selection Sunday Special on March 13 and March Madness listening parties throughout the month.
Financial terms of the multi-year NBA deal were not shared.
The alliance, which will impact audiences outside of the U.S., Canada and China, begins immediately and includes all remaining games for this season and then the NBA playoffs and Finals.
Beginning with 2016-17, TuneIn said it would provide premium users with access to all 1,230 NBA regular-season games, the entire NBA playoffs and Finals and such marquee events as the NBA All-Star Game, State Farm All-Star Saturday Night and the NBA Draft presented by State Farm.
TuneIn said it would also work with the NBA to "create and launch original content alongside the game broadcasts, including daily talk, analysis and fantasy shows during the regular season."
In addition, TuneIn said it plans to offer "On-Demand Content,' through which users would be able to listen to replays of the most recent ten games for each team on a rolling basis; and 24/7 NBA channel, a live channel consisting of a "mix of NBA TV content and original programming so users can listen to live and on-demand basketball programming year-round."
"NBA fans worldwide are passionate about the game and consume our content in numerous ways from television and radio, to mobile and social media," David Denenberg, svp-global media distribution and business affairs for the NBA said in a statement. "TuneIn's global platform is another unique way for our fans to experience the excitement of our game."
WNBA regular season and playoff games will be available beginning with the season opener in May, as will games from the NBA Development League, to stay up-to-date on star prospects.
The NBA is finding a growing audience not just for its U.S.-born stars but also from the increased number of players international players in the league.
The number of international players now in the NBA has more than doubled since 2000-01, when the league had 45 international players, and nearly quintupled since 1990-91 (21 international players).
Prior to the TuneIn deals, NBA games broadcast to 215 nations and territories in 47 languages.
According to Kevin Straley, chief content officer for San Francisco-based TuneIn, "We're excited to announce this new partnership with the NBA. The combination of our platform with a global reach in 230 countries and territories, and the NBA's international fan base makes this a perfect fit to extend TuneIn's growing sports content portfolio. The NBA is the worldwide leader for sports leagues in terms of engaging fans in both social and mobile distribution."
TuneI's playlist also includes music, news and talk stations. People can subscribe to TuneIn Premium or sign up for a free trial via TuneIn.com, iOS and Android apps.
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