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NBA partners with Microsoft on new streaming app

Tech reporter Allie Garfinkle looks at the sports streaming landscape after the NBA announces a new partnership with Microsoft.

Video Transcript

RACHELLE AKUFFO: Like Apple and Amazon's recent deals with the NFL, Microsoft is delving further into the sports space as well. The tech giant is partnering with the NBA on a new app with, quote, wall-to-wall content from every NBA game when the league returns on October 18. Well, Yahoo Finance's Allie Garfinkle has been following all the action for us. Allie, what are you keeping an eye on here?

ALLIE GARFINKLE: So Rachelle, this is a massive expansion of a partnership that dates back to the beginning of the pandemic. And I think timing is key here. This feels like a little bit like a coming out party, right? This is happening as big tech and big sports are becoming increasingly entwined, right?

We have Apple's halftime show. We have Amazon's Thursday Night Football. And we also have the Mariners partnership as we talked about in the last block that Amazon has. But the way I see it here, yes, the NBA needed to improve its digital strategy. But for Microsoft, they're announcing they're ready to compete on that stage.

DAVE BRIGGS: And Allie, Apple and Amazon are already in here. How does Microsoft's play differ from theirs?

ALLIE GARFINKLE: Yeah, it is different, Dave, right? Streaming-- when I was talking to Microsoft North America president, Deb Cupp, what she said is that streaming is part of this equation, but not all of it. The goal is for this to be an app that is a hub for the fan experience. So merch, tickets, fantasy-- you name it.

Comparatively, right, these other partnerships at Apple and Amazon are about broadcasting rights. They feel very acquisitional. So what I would say, Dave, is that Microsoft is taking its own big tech approach to sports. They're doing it their way.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: Crossover action on and off the court there, indeed. Big thank you to Yahoo Finance's Allie Garfinkle. Thank you so much.