The National Basketball Association (NBA) has inked a multi-year media rights deal with the broadcasting group, Viacom18. In this agreement, Viacom18 will be broadcasting the NBA games to Indian audiences across television and streaming platforms.
The partnership will see its commencement from NBA’s landmark 75th anniversary season in 2021-22, as Viacom18 will be providing comprehensive coverage of the NBA’s regular games and marquee events.
The fans of the NBA in India can tune into VH1 or MTV channels for English and Hindi broadcasting, respectively. While they can also watch the games on the streaming platforms, VOOT and Jio TV.
The coverage will include weekly live games, NBA All-Star, the NBA Play-IN Tournament, the NBA Playoffs, and lastly the Finals. Apart from these, Viacom18 will also be showing daily highlights and creating original NBA-themed programming across its network.
Speaking on the occasion, Anil Jayaraj, CEO – Sports, Viacom18, said: “While sports are the biggest whitespace that we are entering, to build a truly inclusive and differentiated proposition, we need to look at diverse sporting events from across the globe. Basketball is a sport that is increasingly gaining attention and affinity in India. Through this partnership with the NBA, not only do we want to make basketball mainstream, but also build its lifestyle appeal among sports fans.”
Adding to it, Anshul Ailawadi, Head of Youth, Music and English Entertainment, Viacom18, said: “Globally, basketball is more than a sport – it is a lifestyle. As we look to build basketball into a cultural phenomenon in India, we welcome this deep partnership with the NBA. Over the course of this association, we will be initiating a heavily localized marketing outreach and consumer connect programme aimed at building fandom for the sport.”
Lastly, Sunny Malik, Head of Global Content and Media Distribution, NBA India, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Viacom18 to broadcast and stream live NBA games to a nationwide audience. Basketball’s popularity in India continues to grow, and by offering a range of NBA programming on Viacom18 in both English and Hindi, we look forward to reaching and inspiring millions of new and existing NBA fans across the country.”
NBA has also roped in the famous Bollywood star, Ranveer Singh as its brand ambassador in India. While celebrating the 75th anniversary, the NBA collaborated with the Lakmé Fashion Week, India’s marquee fashion event.