The Orlando Magic will broadcast Wednesday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs on Facebook Live. The first streaming-only broadcast in team history.
The game is not airing on FOX Sports Florida and will not air on NBA League Pass as the Spurs are not broadcasting the game either. The only way to watch the game aside from attending the game at Amway Center is by tuning into the game on Facebook Live.
Per NBA rules, the game will be available to those within 75 miles of the Amway Center by accessing: http://www.facebook.com/orlandomagic, beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. The Magic’s radio team of Dennis Neumann and Richie Adubato will have the call on Facebook Live.
That 75-mile radius should reach fans in Daytona Beach, Melbourne, Ocala and Lakeland.
Teams throughout the NBA are experimenting with streaming-only broadcasts of preseason games as many teams do not broadcast most of their preseason games.
The NBA began experimenting with Facebook Live broadcasts during Team USA’s preparations for the Olympics this summer. The Atlanta Hawks did a Facebook Live broadcast of its open practice and received more than one million views.
The Milwaukee Bucks also announced they would live stream several preseason games exclusively through the FOX Sports Go app and Bucks.com. This is separate from the NBA’s deal with Facebook Live to stream games, it would appear.
This is a growing field for the NBA and one the league appears set to continue exploring.
The preseason can often be a frustrating time for fans as teams do not broadcast all of their preseason games, leaving them scrambling for radio feeds through Audio League Pass or their local radio feeds or to search for illegal streams on the Web.
The cost associated with putting on a television broadcast may not be worth it to teams, but there is clearly a hunger for even preseason basketball. This could be a way eventually to alleviate that demand with a lower cost.
This is the first time the Magic and the NBA are broadcasting games exclusively through streaming services. It certainly has the opportunity to expand.
For Magic fans, the Facebook Live stream represents the second time for fans to see the team.
Orlando’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers last Wednesday aired on NBATV.
The Magic will still have two traditional broadcasts of preseason games remaining this month. Sunday’s game at Amway Center against the Atlanta Hawks and next Tuesday’s game in Miami against the Miami Heat will both air on FOX Sports Florida and the FOX Sports Go app.
The Magic open their regular season Oct. 26 at home against the Miami Heat.