British sports fans will be able to watch multi-platform coverage of the NBA (National Basketball Association), including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Carmelo Anthony and the likes of the Miami Heat, LA Lakers and New York Knicks after BT Sport and the NBA reached an agreement for exclusively live television coverage of top NBA games and programming in the UK and Ireland.
The multiyear agreement between BT Sport and the world’s premier men’s professional basketball league tips off on Sunday, Dec. 1, as the Eastern Conference- leading Indiana Pacers featuring Paul George and Roy Hibbert take on West Coast rivals the LA Clippers featuring Chris Paul and Blake Griffin at 8.30p.m UK time on BT Sport 2. Coverage will include weekly games on Sundays in primetime. BT Sport subscribers will be able to access selected games which are additional to games broadcast on the TV channels on the BT Sport website (btsport.com) and the BT Sport app (available for iOS and Android devices). Fans will also be able to access a free game on nba.com and NBA LEAGUE PASS International. Full schedule details of all of these digital games will be confirmed at a later date.
The new agreement will see up to 200 games throughout the season, appearing across BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN. There will be up to seven live games per week throughout the regular season and the first and second rounds of the Playoffs, as well as every game of the Conference Finals, culminating in the NBA Finals in June.
As part of the partnership, fans will be able to watch GB’s Luol Deng and the Chicago Bulls take on the Brooklyn Nets as one of five scheduled games on BT Sport on Christmas Day, making BT Sport one of the few places to go for live televised sport on Christmas Day. The Nets will face off against the Atlanta Hawks at The O2 in London on January 16, as part of NBA Global Games 2014. The game – which sold out in record time- will be live on BT Sport.
Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said:
“BT Sport will be the new home of the NBA in the UK and Ireland. The NBA is simply the best basketball in the world; it is fast moving, high scoring and includes some the world’s most recognisable global sporting icons. Existing NBA fans will love our coverage, and we look forward to converting many more.”
One of the highlights of BT Sport’s coverage will be NBA All-Star which takes place every year in February at the midway point of the NBA season. A global celebration of basketball, NBA All-Star consists of a variety of basketball events and competitions, including the NBA Slam Dunk Contest and Three-Point Contest, culminating in the NBA All-Star Game. The All-Star Game pits the league’s star players from the Eastern Conference against their counterparts from the Western Conference, with the starting line-up for each team selected by fans from around the globe. Fans in the UK can vote for their favorite players for NBA All-Star 2014 by visiting nba.com/asb.
“This is a very exciting step for the NBA and basketball fans in the UK and Ireland,” said Dan Markham, NBA Vice President, Media Distribution & Emerging Markets. “With BT Sports’ first rate presentation and formidable portfolio of premium sports content, fans can now look forward to more NBA action than ever before in the UK and Ireland, including selected streamed games. Through its innovative multi-platform offering of live NBA games, highlights, magazine shows and unique behind-the-scenes programming, BT Sport is the ideal partner to serve as the official broadcaster of the NBA.”
Also included in the partnership will be several magazine shows: NBA Action combines weekly highlights and news; NBA Inside Stuff will provide fans with a unique insight into the lives of NBA stars both on and off the court; NBA Tonight, provides an overview of the NBA through interviews and analysis and NBA Countdown, the live game build up show before selected games.
(Photo credit NBAE/Getty Images)