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NBA ups Snapchat presence with weekly Discover channel, Bitmoji integration

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Dave Broberg/123RF
The NBA is expanding its content partnership with Snapchat to bring even more behind-the-scenes and in-game footage to the app.

Snapchat users may have noticed a new NBA Discover channel, which coincided with the season opener on Tuesday. Fans will be able to tune in weekly to the new channel throughout the 2016-17 season. The inaugural edition featured footage from Kevin Durant’s debut on the Golden State Warriors and the ring ceremony for the Cleveland Cavaliers, reports Mashable.

Those in attendance at games this season will also benefit from the partnership, with access to exclusive lenses and the ability to create NBA-themed Bitmoji. The latter feature marks the first time the Bitmoji app has partnered with a sports league.

The NBA will continue to produce live stories and fans will also have access to live scoreboard geofilters — a feature that was introduced in February, and later expanded to include high school football games.

The league has not disclosed the financials of the deal, which will see it triple the content it provides on the app. Snap changed its content policy earlier this month, allowing it to retain (or split) ad revenue from third-party media and instead pay an upfront licensing fee for programming. The model has drawn comparisons to that of a TV network, with the company reportedly seeking out more original content for its service, including sports footage.

In December, Snapchat signed up the NFL as its first sports partner (the league also boasts its own weekly Discover channel). Then, in March, it expanded its content deal with Major League Baseball to include regular season footage, along with coverage of the all star game and the World Series. The app also ran a U.S. Open channel in August to mark the start of the tennis championship. For sports leagues and tournaments, Snapchat offers access to a highly active user base of 150 million daily users.

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