The National Basketball Association (NBA) partnered with SamsungESPN and AT&T for the trial of an alternative way to stream matches, through smartphone cameras and 5G technology. 

The Summer League tie between the Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards, which took place at the Thomas and Mack Center, was shot entirely on six Samsung headsets and aired on the ESPN App and NBA TV Canada. 

As reported by the SportsVideoGroup, Steve Hellmuth, EVP, media operations and technology, NBA Entertainment commented on the technology: “We believe this will be the first live major sports production ever shot exclusively on smartphones to be distributed widely to fans.”

Emphasising the importance of the offering’s uniqueness, he added: “The plan is to deliver fans a unique broadcast experience using the same cameras they use every day to capture special moments in their lives.”

The broadcast utilised theLiveU Smart mobile app, which aims to the latest in transmission technology, strengthening the ability of mobile journalists to cover live HD news from the field using their own mobile device.

It remains to be seen whether the NBA will use 5G during the regular season, however with the technology’s evolution in its infancy its relationship with the NBA and sport in general has an abundance of room for growth. 

Previously, The French Tennis Federation collaborated with Orange for the first live broadcast of matches in 8K thanks to 5G.

Utilising Orange’s 5G technology, this year marked the debut of 8K TV images of the matches on the Philippe-Chatrier court.

That technology was possible thanks to the involvement of the France Télévisions Innovation and Prospective teams, the Orange group’s Innovation teams and the FFT’s teams.