In what will likely be a closely scrutinized debut, the Los Angeles Clippers are going direct to consumers with ClipperVision, featuring six streams centered on commentary and broadcasts covering more than 70 of the team’s 84 home and away games.
The new ClipperVision DTC is positioned as a regional subscription service. Subscribers can stream live games in-market and access a video on demand (VOD) library directly at home, online, on their phone, or on the go from their computer, phone, and other connected devices without a cable subscription. ClipperVision is powered by the NBA’s new integrated digital platform, which also runs the new NBA app.
The cost: $199 per season.
“I have wanted to create a product like ClipperVision since the day I came to the Clippers. Years of effort, hard work and development have led up to its launch,” said Clippers Chairman Steve Ballmer via press release. “ClipperVision’s augmented reality and interactivity will let us transform the experience our fans have watching games, and provide them with more platforms to watch the Clippers.”
ClipperVision’s six game-time streams will include:
- BallerVision – BallerVision will feature live commentary from some of Clipper Nation’s most known personalities–Baron Davis, Paul Pierce, Quentin Richardson and Matt Barnes–along with guest appearances from Steve Ballmer and celebrity Clippers fans.
- Traditional Clippers Broadcasts – The app will provide access to live game streams from Bally Sports SoCal and KTLA featuring traditional on-air talent and graphics.
- CourtVision powered by AWS – Fan-favorite augmented reality streams are back. The CourtVison stream, similar to ShotIQ Mode in the Clippers CourtVision Beta, will carry over augmented graphics for real-time shot probability, statistics, and more.
- CourtVision Mascot Mode powered by AWS – This stream will feature new and enhanced animations, graphics, and special effects added in real-time with machine learning, an expansion of the similar mode from Clippers CourtVision.
- ClipperVision in Korean – The Korean-language stream on ClipperVision will be the first Korean-language commentary available OTT in the L.A. market, and it will be called live from Korea by commentator Yong-Gum Jeong, former basketball player and Korean Basketball League champion Tae-Sool Kim, and basketball reporters Hyun-Il Cho and Dae-Bum Son.
- ClipperVision en Español – The Spanish-language stream will be hosted by veteran broadcaster Francisco X. Rivera. Experienced analyst Roger Valdivieso will take the commentator chair along with an extensive list of invited guests. ClipperVision en Español is the first team direct-to-consumer platform produced specifically for a Spanish-speaking audience.
Fans in market can also watch games on the Clippers’ longtime linear TV home Bally Sports SoCal and on free-to-air TV on KTLA 5. The partnership with Sinclair is notable; the firm already offers a Bally Sports SoCal streaming option, and the team also negotiation a free-TV distribution deal with KTLA-TV this season. From Variety:
“We do have a bunch of young people who are cord-cutters or cord-nevers. They can’t be Clipper fans today,” Ballmer said. “If they’re lucky enough, they may go to game a year. But they can’t watch our games. And so the notion of both having a product that would be more available and being able to do new things in it, those were the things that got me fired up.”
At the same time, Ballmer wasn’t ready to walk away from linear TV. Not only did the Clippers renew a multi-year pact with Ballys (which paved the way for the ClipperVision launch) late last month, the team this year also sought out a local broadcast TV partner for the first time since 2009. The Clippers struck a deal with KTLA-TV Los Angeles to carry a total of 15 games this season. As the Clippers make a push into an expansive direct-to-consumer platform, having the games ubiquitous for local fans is a natural marketing move.
“We didn’t want to leave (linear) television. And that took a lot of negotiating,” Ballmer said. “Now there is a path to market for our games that doesn’t come just from Bally Sports.”