LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer says software can enable new camera angles for NBA games
Steve Ballmer is still big on the idea of using technology to give NBA fans new perspectives while they watch games.
The former Microsoft CEO and Los Angeles Clippers owner appeared on a podcast with The Ringer’s Bill Simmons last week for a conversation that covered a number of topics, from new streaming platforms to the future of season tickets.
Ballmer also described using cloud-based software to let fans watch games from the perspective of players. It’s an idea he brought up at the GeekWire Sports Tech Summit last year and Ballmer is still just as excited about it, several months later. He said it’s possible to make it happen without the players needing to wear cameras.
“Whether they are on their phone [or] they’re in their home, can you, through software-based techniques, change it so that you see the game from Chris Paul’s perspective?” he told The Ringer. “Instead of a center-court camera; I want to see the game the way Chris Paul sees the game. Software can actually let that happen.”
To implement this type of technology — which “we can figure out in two to three years,” Ballmer said — there are some hoops to jump through regarding TV rights, he noted.
At the GeekWire Sports Tech Summit, Ballmer also said his team is working with a startup called Second Spectrum that has a machine learning-like platform for learning about the game. He said it will allow fans to dial up plays and see how they were defended and how likely they are to be successful. That kind of technology could be part of the “second screen” experience that could be a part of the team’s next TV deal.
You can listen to the full podcast here.