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NBA ropes in Viacom18 for multi-year broadcasting partnership

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and private broadcasting group Viacom18 on Friday entered into a multi-year partnership to live-broadcast NBA games and programming across television and over-the-top streaming.

Under the agreement (commercial details and the duration of the same are not disclosed), Viacom18 will distribute live NBA games in English and Hindi on its channels like Vh1, MTV, Voot and Jio TV, the broadcaster and the association said in a joint statement.

Beginning with the NBA’s landmark 75th anniversary season in 2021-22, Viacom18, as part of the partnership, has enabled and supported by the Rise Worldwide, will provide live coverage of the association’s regular season and marquee events in English and Hindi through its television channels Vh1 and MTV, and through its digital platforms Voot and partner Jio TV.

Coverage will include weekly live games, NBA all-star, the NBA Play-in tournament, the NBA playoffs and the finals, it said adding the broadcasting group will also show daily highlights and create original NBA-themed programming across its network.

Basketball is a sport that is increasingly gaining attention in the country and through this partnership, we not only want to make basketball a mainstream sport, but also build its lifestyle appeal among sports fans, Anil Jayaraj, the chief executive of sports at Viacom18, said.

Over the course of this association, we will be initiating a heavily localised marketing outreach and consumer connect programme aimed at building fandom for the sport, Anshul Ailawadi, head of youth, music and English entertainment at Viacom18, said noting globally, basketball is more than a sport it is a lifestyle.

Sunny Malik, head of global content and media distribution for NBA said, 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.

In September, the NBA had named Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh its brand ambassador apart from announcing a collaboration with the Lakm Fashion Week to celebrate the league’s landmark 75th anniversary season.

Viacom18, a 51:49 joint venture between Network18 owned by Reliance Industries, and ViacomCBS, offers multi-platform, multi-generational and multicultural brand experiences and entertainment through on air, online, on ground, in shop and through cinema.

The NBA is a global sports and media business built around four professional sports leagues — the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, the NBA G League and the NBA 2K League. It along with the International Basketball Federation also jointly operates the Basketball Africa League.

The NBA has established an international presence with games and programming available in 215 countries and territories in over 50 languages, and merchandise for sale in over 200 countries and territories on all the continents. Business Standard

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