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NBA partners with YouTube

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and YouTube have announced the launch of the NBA’s first YouTube channel dedicated to fans in sub-Saharan Africa.

Click through to read about what the partnership brings.

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In addition to featuring two live games per week in primetime for the rest of the 2018-19 season, including the Playoffs, Conference Finals, and The Finals. The NBA Africa YouTube channel will celebrate the impact of African players in the NBA.  The channel will also showcase the league’s long history of growing basketball at all levels across the continent and using the game as a platform to inspire and empower African youth.

The first two live game broadcasts on the new channel will take place on Sunday, March 24 and will feature the Charlotte Hornets hosting the Boston Celtics at midnight (CAT), followed by the L.A. Clippers visiting the New York Knicks at 6:00pm (CAT).

The channel will feature original and archived programming, including a collaboration with Africa-based YouTube creators on original content, a customized weekly magazine show, and NBA documentaries featuring current and former African players and legends.

Amadou Gallo Fall, NBA Vice President and Managing Director for Africa, said: “The NBA Africa YouTube channel is yet another important milestone for the NBA in Africa and will allow more fans to access our games, live and on demand, across the continent. As we enter the home stretch of the NBA season and teams fight for playoff positioning, we look forward to bringing the excitement of the NBA to more fans in sub-Saharan Africa while celebrating the NBA’s rich history and bright future in Africa.”

Dayo Olopade, Manager of YouTube Partnerships in Africa, said: “From inception, YouTube has been a hub for fans to catch up on moments and coverage from their favorite sports. We are delighted to be partnering with the NBA to bring the action and inspiration of basketball to our audience in Africa.  We hope NBA fans on the continent enjoy watching the live games and commentaries on YouTube.”

Click here to read about the NBA’s digital presence with YouTube.

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Stream of the Day

New ‘phone-optimised’ streaming service launches

A long-awaited streaming service called Quibi has launched. The service promises a new way to watch bite-sized series – and users decide whether to watch in portrait or landscape, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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TV content has needed a major refresh for a long time now. With Netflix and Showmax, we’ve seen a major uptake in mobile watching – but not in content. Enter Quibi, a streaming service that’s tailored to how users watch content on their devices – with the option of landscape or portrait, and not for longer than 15 minutes.

The service looks like a nice mix between Netflix and TikTok, with longer, premium-produced content in 10-minute bite-sized episodes. Quibi says it will present fresh content from today’s top talent – one quick bite at a time.

Series are split in episodes as usual and movies are split by chapters, that make both types of content possible to consume in smaller chunks. This makes the service ideal for those who don’t have a full 90 minutes to take in a movie, but still want to watch something equivalent.

Choosing to watch in landscape or portrait is a reality, thanks to what Quibi calls Turnstyle – a feature that allows users to opt between watching in either format. This means that two copies of a show are streamed at the same time, and users can rotate their phone to get another perspective on the content.

In a seriously saturated market of streaming services, Quibi doesn’t have an extensive catalogue of old content or “franchise heroes”, as other services do. Instead, it offers a fresh set of content with well-known talent like Tyra Banks, Idris Elba, Will Arnett, Tom Cruise, Laura Dern, Zac Efron, and Crissy Tiegen.

Quibi’s chairman, Jeffrey Katzenberg, is best known for reinvigorating the Disney brand between 1984 and 1994 when he served as chairman of Walt Disney Studios.

The service is launching with around 50 shows and movies, ranging from unscripted reality shows to scripted films.

Quibi costs R130 per month with no ads. In the US, a cheaper plan at $4.99 per month is offered with some ads. For a limited 90-day free trail, download the Quibi app before the end of April before subscribing.

Quibi is available for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

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Stream of the Day

NBA video game tournament to show on ESPN

Brooklyn Nets’s Kevin Durant and Atlanta Hawks’s Trae Young are among NBA players
competing in an NBA 2K20 video game tournament premiering early tomorrow morning on ESPN.

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2K, the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), have announced the NBA 2KPlayers Tournament, an NBA 2K20 video game tournament between 16 current NBA players. Beginning today, 3 April, in the USA, on ESPN and ESPN 2, players like top seeds Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks will compete in a single-elimination, player-only tournament on Xbox One. The tournament will screen at 1am on Saturday, 4 April, South African time. 

The winner will be crowned the “ultimate NBA 2K20 champion” and select a charity beneficiary to receive a $100,000 donation from 2K, the NBA and the NBPA, in support of ongoing coronavirus relief efforts. 
  
“We’re thrilled to partner with the NBA and NBPA to bring basketball back to fans throughout the world and to help those in need during these uncertain times,” says Jason Argent, 2K Senior Vice President, Sports Strategy and Licensing. “Entertainment, especially sports, has the ability to bring communities together – including athletes, fans and families – and we hope that everyone will enjoy the tournament.”  
  
Matt Holt, NBA SVP of Global Partnerships, says: “We are excited to tip off the first ‘NBA 2K Players Tournament’ in partnership with the NBPA and 2K, continuing an ongoing effort to stay connected with NBA fans around the world, while also giving back in this time of need.” 

“This tournament offers an opportunity for our players to compete with one another while also supporting their philanthropic efforts and engaging with their fans,” says Josh Goodstadt, EVP of Licensing for THINK450, the commercial arm of the NBPA. 

 Based on players’ seeding – which is determined first by NBA 2K rating, second by tenure – players will go head-to-head online in NBA 2K20. Prior to the tournament beginning, players will choose eight of today’s NBA teams, each of which can only be used once. If a mirror match is set, the away team is awarded first choice of team. Rounds one and two will be single elimination, with the semi-finals and finals running best of three.  
  
Player Seeding*: 

  1. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets (96) 
  2. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks (90) 
  3. Hassan Whiteside, Portland Trail Blazers (87) 
  4. Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz (87) 
  5. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (86) 
  6. Andre Drummond, Cleveland Cavaliers (85) 
  7. Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (85)  
  8. Montrezl Harrell, LA Clippers (85) 
  9. Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers (85)  
  10. Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns (85)  
  11. DeMarcus Cousins (81) 
  12. Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets (81) 
  13. Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards (79) 
  14. Patrick Beverley, LA Clippers (78) 
  15. Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings (78) 
  16. Derrick Jones Jr., Miami Heat (78) 

*Participating players subject to change. 
  
Tournament coverage begins 3 April at 7:00 pm ET (or 4 April at 1:00 am), with a matchup between Jones Jr. (16) and Durant (1) tipping off at 7:30 pm ET (1:30am). Jones Jr. and Durant will each play as one of their pre-selected teams, with Jones Jr. choosing from the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, LA Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers, and Durant choosing from the Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, LA Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz. 
  
Tune-In Schedule: 
  
Round 1 
Saturday, 4 April:  

  • 1:00 am – 1:30 am SAST: NBA 2K Players Tournament Preview Show   
  • 1:30 am – 2:30 am SAST: Derrick Jones Jr. (16) vs. Kevin Durant (1) 

 Saturday, April 4: 2:30 am – 5:30 am SAST 
  
Sunday, April 5: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm SAST 
  
Quarterfinals 
Wednesday, 9 April: 1:00 am – 5:00 am SAST  
  
Semifinals & Finals 
Saturday, April 11: Timing to be announced. 
  
For more information on NBA 2K20, please visit https://nba.2k.com/2k20/, become a fan on Facebook, follow on Twitter and Instagram, or subscribe on YouTube.  

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