WarnerMedia Lab Working With NBA to Use AT&T Tech

As part of AT&T, WarnerMedia said its Innovation Lab will be looking to take advantage of its parent company’s technological capabilities and is working with the National Basketball Association to create immersive game experiences beyond the court.

The Lab will also foster further collaboration with WarnerMedia’s Turner division and Xandr, AT&T’s recently renamed advertising company. Turner and Xandr are working together to use data to improve the relevance and effectiveness of advertising.

Jesse Redniss, Turner’s executive VP of data strategy and product innovation has been put in charge of the lab.

Related: Turner Using Xandr Data for Targeted Ad Products

Before it was acquired by AT&T, Time Warner had a media lab at its New York headquarters, that was described as a state-of-the-art facility that allowed the company and its partners to understand consumer behavior across the content spectrum, from media through retail. For a while, Turner had an Ad Lab as part of its effort to improve the consumer viewing experience.

The newly announced facility, dubbed the Warner Media Innovation Lab, was described as an incubator that will combine emerging technologies with content to create innovative consumer experience and businesses.

“Our goal in launching this dedicated laboratory is to accelerate innovation around how our content can thrive and grow within emerging formats and platforms,” said WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey. “By taking advantage of AT&T’s technological capabilities we are literally creating a next-generation playground for our creative, tech and strategy executives and key business partners across HBO, Turner, Warner Bros. and Otter Media.”

Related: AT&T Launches 5G Network

Initial areas of exploration are expected to include AT&T’s 5G infrastructure offerings to develop, deliver and deploy new immersive consumer content experiences in the form of AR/VR/MR/gaming offerings, enhancing real-time interactivity and connectivity, the company said. It is also looking at internet-of-things opportunities.

The Lab will also look to combine data and insights from across AT&T’s more than 300 million direct-to-consumer relationships across wireless, video and broadband services with WarnerMedia’s content, in order to harness the potential of dynamic content, innovative advertising formats and delivery using artificial intelligence and deep learning research.

The NBA has a long-running relationship with Turner, which airs games on TNT and runs the association’s digital businesses. The league will also work with the Lab on new experiences for fans.

“We are always exploring what is next for sports media and what it means for the future NBA experience,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “This collaboration with WarnerMedia will help identify cutting edge ways to use technology to deliver more immersive experiences to NBA fans.”

The Innovation Lab will be housed in New York City. The company pointed out that AT&T and WarnerMedia have already been working together on cutting edge projects such as a VR short film by Turner for TBS’s Final Space, a mixed-reality trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and a concept car that transports guests to Gotham City, home of the company’s DC Comics’ Batman.

“The future of consumer experience will be personalized, both participatory and passive at the same time, while also dynamic based on how viewers want to receive and engage within their media content journey,” said Redniss. “By infusing emerging technology innovations led by AT&T and methodologies with our world class IP, partners like the NBA and story world developers, we expect the Innovation Lab to help redefine the future of the entertainment and sports experience.” 

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.