RealNetworks, NBA in Streaming Broadcast, Sponsorship Deal

Streaming media firm RealNetworks will deliver live Internet broadcasts from the National Basketball Association, while netting sponsorships on NBA.com and NBA programming, according to the terms of a deal announced Monday.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The pact gives Seattle-based RealNetworks the right to Webcast NBA programming from the league’s digital cable/satellite network, NBA.com TV. The company also gains Webcasting rights to NBA.com Audio League Pass, a package of exclusive audio feeds from every NBA game.

The programming will be available through RealNetworks’ GoldPass subscription-only service, which has about 150,000 members.

“RealNetworks offers us a great opportunity to broaden the reach of NBA audio and video content on the Web,” said NBA commissioner David Stern. “RealPlayer GoldPass is a forward-thinking service with unlimited potential, and the NBA is excited to be breaking new ground through this partnership.”

RealNetworks gains several sponsorship opportunities through the deal. The company will be the presenting sponsor of the “My Highlights” section on NBA.com, and will be featured on NBA.com, NBA.com TV, and other NBA programming, through specifics were not announced.

RealNetworks will also obtain courtside signage during the 2001 NBA.com Slam Dunk competition in early February, which the company will be broadcasting to its GoldPass subscribers.

“RealNetworks is ideally positioned to deliver the audience and viewership that content producers are looking for, as today’s deal with one of the world’s premier sports leagues demonstrates,” said RealNetworks chairman and chief executive Rob Glaser. “We look forward to providing an unmatched media experience for basketball fans and GoldPass subscribers everywhere.”

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