The National Basketball Association is launching an advertiser-supported online product, NBA TV Broadband, this week. The channel offers halftime highlights while a game is on and a daily helping of TNT’s talent dishing NBA dirt. Brenda Spoonemore, NBA Entertainment senior VP, Interactive Services, discussed the venture with B&C’s Ken Kerschbaumer.
What type of technical facilities do you have on the dotcom side?
We don’t have a dotcom facility. We have a group of video editors that are pulling down the video, logging it, cutting it and editing it for NBA.com, NBA TV Broadband, NBA TV and mobile devices. So it’s not about building a separate infrastructure; it’s about using a single infrastructure.
Do you think the one-staff operational model is what other media companies will eventually embrace?
Others have built separate staffs, but I don’t see why you would do that, especially if you already developed a staff that understands what works for different devices. And it doesn’t mean we don’t cut it differently for different media. For mobile devices, we’ll use more close-up shots, while for broadcast and broadband, you can get away with high-angle shots.
What is the typical workflow?
As the games come in, they’ll tag shots and store them on a centralized server. The editors will pull the shots from those servers, and they’re already matched up with the data feeds. We’ll add another level of metadata so the editors can pull up the best plays. Any editor can access those at any time.
Why does the ad-supported model work?
We’ve reached critical mass. Our fans are there, broadband penetration is high enough, and the ad model is there. In fact, it’s so strong that there isn’t enough inventory online to support demand. We position all of our products so we’re pushing people up the media chain. NBA TV online is pushing them to NBA TV or one of the other channels we have on broadband, like TNT on NBA TV Broadband.