Star Sports has bagged the broadcast rights for NBA in the Indian sub-continent after the deal incumbent broadcaster Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) didn’t get renewed. Sony was the official broadcast partner of NBA for almost eight years after they signed a multi-year broadcast deal with NBA in November 2012.
As part of the deal with Sony, the rights were split between Ten Sports, which was then part of ZEE, and Sony Pix, the English movie channel from Sony stable. Under the terms of the new agreement, basketball fans in India will be able to watch select games of the 2021 Playoffs and The Finals on Star Sports Select and Star Sports 1. NBA Business Head – Global Content & Media Distribution Sunny Malik confirmed the partnership and different packages Star Sports will telecast.
“We are committed to bringing the best NBA content to our fans and with this partnership, fans will get access to a weekly selection of live games through the NBA Playoffs, entire Conference Finals and The Finals. Star Sports will also air daily highlights & classic NBA content till the end of the season.”
Since Sony did not renew the contract, NBA was without a live broadcaster in India. They eventually agreed to a deal with Indian public-service broadcaster Prasar Bharati in January 2021 for rights to show classic content, documentaries, and game highlights.
The NBA season has entered its playoff stages as the teams will battle it out to the champions of their respective conference. Defending champions Los Angeles Lakers lost the first game of their playoff series against the Phoenix Suns. However, the Lakers still have six games more to play to turn things around this season. Brooklyn Nets are currently the favourites to win the championship this season. Nets have a star-studded line-up of Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving. They are currently leading their playoff match against Boston Celtics in the eastern conference after finishing second in the league table behind the Philidelphia 76ers.