NBC’s Playmaker Media, Turner’s iStreamPlanet Team Up To Compete With BAMTech

NBC Sports Digital and Turner are partnering up their respective Playmaker Media and iStreamPlanet OTT/live streaming/VOD solutions providers. The long-term partnership puts a bullseye squarely on BAMTech, as the combined entity will look to better compete with the MLB-Advanced-Media spinoff to provide leagues and networks with infrastructure and technology for OTT and VOD services. The two divisions will continue to operate under their own brands, but they plan to go to market together. 


The partnership will deliver technology and services for an end-to-end consumer experience, including signal acquisition, content management, rights enforcement, editorial workflows, live and video-on-demand streaming, advertising, e-Commerce, analytics, and customized application experiences on popular consumer devices.

Playmaker Media drives NBC Sports Group’s live-streaming efforts, including the NFL, NHL, NASCAR, Premier League and Triple Crown races. In addition to streaming tens of thousands sporting events, The International Olympic Committee (IOC) signed on as Playmaker Media’s first client to provide live-streaming support for the Olympic Channel. It also provided streaming support for NBC News’ 2016 election coverage.

istreamMeanwhile, iStreamPlanet streams Turner Sports’ NBA League Pass, ELeague, the NCAA tournament and 2017 PGA Championship offerings. iStreamPlanet has also been a long-term partner of NBC Sports – even prior to its acquisition by Turner in 2015. NBC and iStreamPlanet’s work together dates back seven years and, most recently, NBC utilized iStreamPlanet during the Rio Olympics to allow more than 100 million unique users to consume 3.5 billion minutes of video over 19 days.

According to SportsBusiness Journal‘s John Ourand, who first reported the partnership, the combined efforts of NBC and Turner will target around 50 brands that Playmaker and iStreamPlanet believe they can help grow, as well as make an international push.

The new combined entity will present the most viable competitor to date for BAMTech (which spinoff from MLBAM in 2015), which, along with NeuLion and a handful of others, has dominated the marketplace for third-party OTT/VOD backend services as the sector has exploded in recent years. Currently, BAMTech powers streaming services like HBO Now, WWE Network, League of Legends, and Silver Chalice Ventures among others. In August, Disney acquired a one-third stake in BAMTech and valued the business at about $3.5 billion. In 2020, Disney will have an option to buy an additional 33% stake in the company. BAMTech is expected to play an integral role in the creation of an ESPN-branded streaming service in the near future. Internationally, BAMTechhas teamed up with Discovery Communications to form BAMTech Europe, a digital technology company designed in a model similar to its successful American-based predecessor. Eurosport Digital has already come on board as the new entity’s first client.

Stay tuned to Sportsvideo.org for more in-depth coverage of this story in the coming days. 

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