The annual NBA Final showdown has finally arrived and the excitement of the basketball fans across the globe can be seen all over social media for the past few days. The NBA 2021 Final will be contested between the Western Conference Champions Phoenix Suns and the Eastern Conference Winners Milwaukee Bucks, in a 7-games series.
Therefore on the eve of the first game of the 7-games series, NBA announced that its marquee event is going to be available for viewership across 215 countries in 50+ different languages. In the US, the NBA finals series will be broadcasted nationally across ESPN and TNT. To make the event an unquestionable success, a 40-foot world feed truck is packed with TVs and other equipment to put together one live broadcast that is shared by all of the NBA game providers around the world, including those in Brazil, China, France, Spain and Latin America. This applies to every country except the United States and Canada, where local broadcasters are used.
Steve Hellmuth, NBA Executive Vice-President of Media Operations and Technology, provided some valuable insight on the preparations and expectations. He said, “We have these broadcasters with us, our partners in business, all year long. And this is the opportunity; this is the pinnacle of the entire season. We cannot accept anything but perfect.”
Over the years, the global audience of the NBA has grown exponentially as the number of international players in the league is continuously increasing. Steve Hellmuth further added, “The audience certainly swells and grows during the NBA Finals,” said Hellmuth. “This is an NBA Finals that features a lot of international players, and those international players drive viewership, like Marc Gasol, like Pascal Siakam, like Serge Ibaka.”
The process has changed now, as earlier the NBA provided recorded tapes to other countries days after the actual event for a delayed broadcast. As far as India is concerned, the NBA has decided to live-stream the finals to fans in India for free on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This free access is a welcoming sight for Indian basketball fans who would be tuning in the early hours of the morning to watch the showpiece event.