The Los Angeles Clippers are trying to give their fans a new way to view games. A lot of new views, actually.
And one of them will even feature in-game commentary at times from Clippers chairman Steve Ballmer.
The Clippers announced Monday that they are launching a direct-to-consumer product featuring six different stream options, with more in the planning stages, and without any pay-television subscription required. The NBA’s new digital platform, which powers the league’s updated app, is the vehicle the Clippers have leveraged to make their idea happen.
The product — ClipperVision, it’s called — is a first for the NBA, and the team says it is planning on streaming more than 70 games live in-market this coming season.
“It’s inevitable. This is where things are going. It’s obvious,” Clippers President Gillian Zucker said. “The speed at which the pickup takes place, that’s the only question mark.”
In addition to live streams of traditional Clippers broadcasts, the product also has options where fans can choose an alternate stream; another that offers augmented graphics showing real-time shot probability and other stats during live play; options in both Spanish and Korean; and one called BallerVision — which will have a rotating lineup of analysts including Jamal Crawford, Baron Davis, Paul Pierce, Quentin Richardson, and Matt Barnes.
And, sometimes, the highly enthusiastic Ballmer will be on there as well.
“I have wanted to create a product like ClipperVision since the day I came to the Clippers,” Ballmer said. “Years of effort, hard work and development have led up to its launch.”
The NBA last month unveiled its reimagined app, one that is powered by artificial intelligence to give fans the sort of content they would want in the latest part of the league’s own direct-to-consumer plan.
The Clippers are expecting to contend for an NBA title this season with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, and it’s a simple formula — knowing they have a team that fans will want to watch, it just made good sense for the team to find a way to get more eyeballs onto games.
“It is a strategic imperative,” Zucker said. “Steve has said repeatedly, ‘I want to compete for championships every year,’ and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.”