Last week, Sports By Brooks reported that DAZN is exploring launching a RedZone-style NBA show. A DAZN spokesperson confirmed to The Big Lead they are looking into the rights for an NBA RedZone property and are in constant conversation with sports leagues about rights that will drive subscriptions. There is no current timetable for the show.
This move makes sense on several levels and an NBA version has felt inevitable since the moment it was announced DAZN was adding one of the MLB genre – Change Up with Adnan Virk – to their service. Here is a look at some talents the streaming service could bring into front the show if and when it launches.
The first name that comes to mind is Rob Perez, World Wide Wob. Perez is one of the fastest-growing digital NBA talents and a show like this is tailor-made for his skill set. Perez is respected in the industry and has the energy, knowledge, and popularity to get the show off to a fast, well-received, and viewed start. Keeping up on every NBA game on a particular night would be all too familiar for Perez.
Perez isn’t the answer if DAZN elects to go NFL-style and have a traditional host as the sole talent on set. He instead is much more fitted to be involved in a cast of three or four personalities, which is the better direction for DAZN to take anyway.
Ashley Brewer, who is currently hosting locally for ABC Los Angeles, is the digital company’s best option. Brewer is no stranger to the national stage either, hosting The Bachelor Winter Games and Tiger Woods’ charity event earlier this year. Brewer’s contract expires next year and is expected to be highly pursued. As one of the top young hosts in the business, Brewer would be the high-potential, energetic, and likable point guard who would make everyone on the show better.
Chris Mannix has to be considered a serious candidate. DAZN is high on Mannix, who is already signed to the company as a part of their boxing coverage. Mannix would bring an insider voice to the set, which will be the biggest challenge for DAZN to find. Mannix appears often on FS1, adding to his familiarity with strong NBA opinions.
As shown with Mannix’s deal, DAZN appears fine with non-exclusive talents. This opens up the door for others to get involved. However, it’s not clear if the current employers of Taylor Rooks, Kristen Ledlow, and Cassidy Hubbarth would let them get involved. All three would give the show an instant boost at the hosting position.
Presumably, some former players will be in the discussion for the show. The show would not focus on the X’s-and-O’s of the game, making Nate Robinson’s loose, untraditional style a logical fit.
DAZN could elect to go the route of creating their own star, as well. The versatile Julianne Viani is someone that could break out if given a role on the show. Viani offers a unique basketball perspective and has stood out calling both men’s and women’s games through NextVr. DAZN should fear getting into a position where they are forced to rely solely on personalities built elsewhere.
There is a lot of success for a show like this to have especially with the NBA’s dominance online. It would also do wonders for DAZN, whose attention has mostly been limited to the boxing circles. And while the highlights and cut-ins would be the bread and butter, assembling the right cast is a prerequisite for the show to have sustainable success.