Multi Screen Media (MSM) has stitched a three-year agreement with the National Basketball Association (NBA), wherein Sony Six will be the exclusive broadcast partner of the sport in India.
Under the agreement, the sports channel from the MSM stable will showcase live NBA games and original programming. The channel will air live NBA games each week on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, with replays during prime time. The Sunday game will be the 'Game of the Week' featuring the NBA game airing at noon or 1:00 pm ET in the US.
In all, fans in India will have access to 72 NBA regular season games, up to 18 NBA playoff games, the Eastern and Western Conference Finals, the NBA Finals and NBA all-star events including the All-star game, All-star Saturday night, and the Rising stars competition. NBA and Sony Six will also create weekly NBA lifestyle programmes and a series of instructional vignettes that will help educate fans on the rules of the game and basketball terminology.
Additionally, along with NBA, Sony Six intends to create customised local programming and bring together talent from the NBA, Sony Entertainment and Bollywood with a focus on the Indian youth. It also aims to organise on-ground basketball events.
Matt Brabants, senior vice-president, international media distribution, NBA, says, "Sony Six has a great track record of engaging Indian youth through sports and entertainment, which makes it an ideal partner to bring high-quality NBA broadcasts to our fans. Through live games, increased local programming and comprehensive league recaps, we will deliver more ways for fans in India to experience the NBA than ever before."
It is pertinent to note here that in 2010, the NBA had split its broadcast rights between Taj Television and Multi Screen Media (MSM) in a multi-year agreement when ESPN-STAR Sports, the long standing broadcast partners for NBA in India, chose not to renew the deal. This time, however, the NBA has decided to go for one broadcast partner.