Units of NBC Sports Digital, Turner Expand OTT Sports Deal

Two online video units of NBC Sports Group and Turner have come together on an expanded  “long-term” partnership to use OTT to deliver live and VOD solutions for major sports leagues, pro team franchises, “emerging leagues,” regional and national sports networks, and others holders of premium sports rights.

The agreement, which also factors in Olympics streaming, teams Playmaker Media, the live and VOD streaming service launched last year by NBC Sports Digital (while naming the International Olympic Committee as its first client, and iStreamPlanet, the OTT company acquired by Turner in 2015.

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iStreamPlanet, along with Adobe, Akamai and Microsoft, were among the partners Playmaker Media identified when the unit was introduced.

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The expanded partnership, which will seemingly compete with companies such as Disney-backed Bam Tech and Neulion, will provide tech and services for and “end-to-end” consumer experience, touching areas such as signal acquisition, content management, rights enforcement, advertising and analytics.

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Playmaker Media and IStreamPlanet have previously collaborated on events such as the Olympics, including the 2016 summer games in Rio, and the Super Bowl. Playmaker Media streams several events  from the NFL, NHL, NASCAR, the Premiere League and Triple Crown horse racing, while iStreamPlanet’s technology is used, for example, for NBA League Pass, Eleague, and the coming NCAA March Madness and PGA Championship.

“We have a long history of working with iStreamPlanet and have collaborated with them to successfully stream some of the biggest events in sports, including multiple Olympics and Super Bowls, to massive audiences,”  Eric Black, CTO, NBC Sports Group Digital, said in a statement. “This is a natural fit as the assets of each company complement the other, providing the most robust offering for customers. We look forward to better serving the growing marketplace through this partnership.”

iSteamPlanet founder and CEO Mio Babic added: “This deal delivers on a shared core value – that end users should be delighted, and premium sports content should be complemented with compelling, innovative viewing experiences. We are just beginning to scratch the surface on the types of innovative solutions we can provide to our customers, and we will continue to expand the amazing work we are doing across the sports industry.”

Turner CTO Jeremy Legg said the partnership reflects "another step in Turner’s strategy for iStreamPlanet to commercialize solutions and bring them to market in ways that are valuable for consumers and customers."

"We’re excited iStreamPlanet’s industry-leading cloud video streaming platform joined with NBC Sports Digital’s capabilities and success in digital sports streaming business," Legg said. "This will bring a new level of excellence to the market.”