British

NBA in Talks With Sky Sports & ESPN, Stern Not Happy

November 29, 2012 10:03 am 6 comments

by Sam Neter

NBA UK TV Deal ESPN BSkyB Sky SportsSportsmail has revealed the NBA are in talks with Sky Sports and ESPN to end the current TV black-out that is frustrating so many fans in the UK, whilst NBA commissioner David Stern has branded the current situation “unacceptable”.

Last season ESPN held the UK television rights to the NBA, but the deal has expired and not yet been renewed. An ESPN spokesman told Sportsmail they are “engaged in discussions with the NBA”, however, Stern seems to be more focused on discussions with BSkyB.

Talking exclusively to Sportsmail, the NBA commissioner of 28 years also admitted they need to do a better job for fans in the UK:

“We are in discussions with BSkyB about more regular scheduling of our games.

“…we really need to do a better job of offering games in the UK. While our online had over a billion streams outside the US last season, it is not an acceptable answer to fans in the UK.

“For those fans who are currently starved I would recommend that, for now, they sign up to our online league pass where they can get a thousand NBA games through their smart TV, their computers, tablets and their cell phones.

“We need exposure to build a stronger fan base here, so at the moment we are struggling. But we are currently talking to people at the highest level from BSkyB to see what they can do to change that.”

Regardless of who the deal is done with, it seems most people just want a deal done sooner rather than later. The NBA UK Facebook and Twitter has been flooded with comments from disgruntled fans who want the NBA back on the box.

Read the full article over at the Daily Mail.

Thoughts? Waiting for that deal? Given in and bought NBA League Pass? Let us know in the comments!

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  • http://www.blackhawks.co.uk Rickyflip

    I can understand Stern leaning towards Sky. If viewers don’t have top pay even more for a premium channel, then they viewership will grow more. Is viewership a word? Never mind. I never got ESPN because I couldn’t justify the extra cost to watch the Lakers and/or the Heat every week.

    The way that Sky deals with the NFL is a great example of how to get it right, but I actually think they could go one better and have an entire NBATV channel like in the US. League Pass is also available through the TV in the States. Can’t we have it too?

  • Reggie

    They should try and target Sky Sports. The NFL is a lot more popular over here now, and Sky may have played a decent part. As with ESPN… why can’t they also show NBA games also? Why can’t fans have the best of both worlds. (Sky and ESPN)
    And in a perfect world, the BBC should broadcast a few NBA games a week. But that seems unlikely to happen anytime soon.

  • Gremlin

    I personally would never go back to the TV. Even if Sky Sports started doing it.

    NBA L. Pass is perfect for me….
    I hated the old school sky sports days ….you would get a million knicks and bulls games!
    I like to pick what i want and NBA pass is that shit

  • Chris S

    If they made the League Pass cheaper i’d stick with it as well now i’m used to it to be honest.

  • Coach Rob K

    I still don’t understand why the BBC are not involved in these talks. They have stated that they are now going to (after the success of other sports during the Olympics) start showing other sports. They are now the only place in the UK to watch Monday Night Football , all be it on the red button, so I do not understand why they cannot do it for the NBA coverage on terrestrial TV.

    If the NBA want the game to grow and be more popular then surely some of the coverage should be on Terrestrial TV, but come to think of it, why is the BBL not on Terrestrial…….

  • Rip

    BBL on terrestial TV?

    Terrestial TV endeavour to show quality(!?) programmes. BBL on terrestial might just do more harm than good for the sport.

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