Skip to main content

NBA's new deal means more highlight videos for international fans

intel nba playoffs tnt virtual reality news andrew wiggins preseason minnesota timberwolves oklahoma city thunder 850x560
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The NBA has 100 international players from 37 different countries, but its new dream is to make everything feel local. To help fans see all of their favorite players every night, the NBA is working with WSC Sports Technologies to analyze games as they’re happening and create customized highlight reels for individual players (or other criteria) almost instantly.

Aviv Arnon, WSC’s head of business development, spoke with Digital Trends about the Automatic Video Generator (AVGEN) technology, which automatically performs video, audio, and statistical analysis of near real-time live footage, indexing and ranking each play for later usage and highlight packages.

It works by listening to the audio waves from the game to determine if a particular play elicited an energized crowd response, beat the buzzer, resulted in a timely foul, or has any other triggers that indicate excitement. So, if Golden State Warriors starting point guard (and reigning MVP) Steph Curry scores 40 points, but a seemingly simple layup capped off a 15-0 game-ending run, AVGEN would determine the layup came during that run by the statistics. Then, by analyzing crowd reaction, it would rank it higher than a spectacular three-pointer that happened during a less pivotal point in the game.

AVGEN User Interface Image used with permission by copyright holder

The technology also lets the NBA set up “rules,” or parameters for the system to select specified plays from certain players. Pre-setting all Golden State Warrior games to “Steph Curry three-pointers” will generate a daily video montage of him averaging more than five three-pointers each game. NBA reps inform Digital Trends that, without this new technology, the league would not have the resources to manually create personalized highlight packages for its growing fan base.

The partnership has already shown to be prolific. The NBA has 600 rules set, and 20,000 highlight packages were generated in the first six weeks of the season. From just the eight games played on November 30, 593 videos were generated. A highlight package of San Antonio Spur starting point guard  Tony Parker’s six-point performance against the Boston Celtics on November 1 had more views in France than Steph Curry’s 53-point performance against the New Orleans Pelicans the day before, which is still a record for points in a game this season.

AVGEN is showing that the best player is not always the most popular when your fan base encompasses a large portion of the world.

20,000 highlight packages were generated in the first six weeks of the season.

Currently, 18 NBA teams use the technology, and the majority of highlight packages from the NBA’s Developmental League and WNBA uses WSC’s technology. Highlight packages generated by AVGEN are then sent out to the NBA’s broadcasting affiliates from across the globe. While the technology is only used as a means for the NBA to provide more video content to its fans, reps from the league hint that a future where fans can use the tool to create customize searches themselves is a possibility.

 NBA Senior Vice President, Digital Media Melissa Brenner told Digital Trends we should not expect so much specialized NBA video content that live viewing becomes unnecessary.

“We don’t want to cannibalize the actual viewing of the games or people going to the game,” she said. The NBA also asserts the partnership with WSC will not affect the league’s relationship with Turner Sports, which manages the NBA’s digital assets and recently helped broadcast the first live NBA game in virtual reality.

Keith Nelson Jr.
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Keith Nelson Jr is a music/tech journalist making big pictures by connecting dots. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY he…
ClipDart is an on-demand barber app aimed at people of color
ClipDart founder, Kyle Parker.

It’s funny how we can take certain things for granted, like haircuts. Over the course of more than 50 years of living in different cities, different neighborhoods, or even visiting different countries, not once have I ever worried about whether I could find someone who could cut my hair the way I liked. Then again, I’m white.

But if you’re a person of color, it can be an entirely different experience. That’s what Kyle Parker discovered when he left his hometown of Chicago in 2013 to attend Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, population 9,031. While 24% of Grinnell College’s students identify themselves as people of color, fewer than 10% of residents of the city of Grinnell would say the same of themselves.

Read more
Circular confirms its $259 smart ring is coming to the U.S.
best wearables of ces 2022 circular ring

The Circular smart ring is finally going to be available for pre-order on Sunday, February 27, via the Circular website and will cost $259. The wearable tech will be available for presale in European countries (France, Germany, the U.K., and Italy,) the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Pre-orders will go live at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 27. Those who pre-order the smart ring should expect delivery between April and June 2022, according to a Circular press release.

Circular doesn't clarify what ring sizes will be available when presales go live, however, the company has said that seven sizes for both men and women will be available. Digital Trends has reached out for clarification on the available sizes, and will update this article when we hear back. The Circular smart ring also comes in four different colors that can be switched out with replaceable outer shells: Black, rose gold, silver, and gold.

Read more
How to take an ECG with your Apple Watch and see irregular heart notifications
ecg app apple watch

The ECG app is one of the most vital features of the Apple Watch, allowing you to see an electrocardiogram of your heart whenever you want. Along with this, the Apple Watch can notify you of irregular heart rhythms.

Read more