The partnership represents the first media rights deal for the new NBA 2K League, which begins its first season of play on May 1 with 17 teams. The league—the first professional esports league operated by a professional sports league in the United States—features 102 of the best NBA 2K players in the world.
“This is a groundbreaking partnership for the NBA 2K League,” said NBA 2K League Managing Director Brendan Donohue. “Twitch shares our innovative spirit and commitment to putting the gaming community first and is the ideal home to provide our passionate 2K, NBA and esports fans around the world with the opportunity to catch all the excitement of our inaugural season.”
The league made its live premiere on Twitch with its inaugural draft on April 4 at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York. Each of the participating teams chose six players, with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announcing the first pick, thus becoming the first commissioner of a major sports league to appear on Twitch.
As part of the deal, Twitch will become the official live streaming partner and a founding partner of the NBA 2K League and will provide live streams of up to 199 games throughout the season, including weekly matchups, three in-season tournaments, playoffs and the NBA 2K League Finals. The live streams will include live commentary, analysis and additional league updates.
“From video games to real games, the NBA continues to innovate around basketball when it comes to engaging with the Twitch community,” said Justin Dellario, head of esports programs at Twitch. “By partnering with Twitch for the NBA 2K League, that pioneering spirit will continue to be reflected when we elevate this latest entry to the world of competitive gaming with interactive features and our global stage.”
All NBA 2K League games will be available live on Twitch at twitch.tv/nba2kleague. Games will be available on demand following each live broadcast.
The partnership marks the second deal between Twitch and an NBA-affiliated league after last year’s announcement that the NBA G League would stream up to six live games each week on the platform.