In the space of a month, UK basketball fans have gone from having no NBA on their television screens to having multiple options after the NBA announced a deal with Sky Sports for live coverage for the remainder of the season.
The new agreement will bring live Sunday night games for the rest of the regular season, including double-headers most weekends, followed by live NBA Playoff games, the entire Eastern Conference Finals, and every game of the NBA Finals in June.
Sky Sports coverage begins with the NBA’s third regular-season game in the United Kingdom featuring the New York Knicks and the Detroit Pistons at London’s O2 arena. The sold-out game on 17 January will be the first NBA game played in the UK to be shown live in 3D, and will also be available live on mobile, online and tablet devices via Sky Go.
The deal will be a welcome addition to the three live games per week ESPN UK are showing this season. The conference finals will be split between Sky Sports and ESPN, with ESPN showing the Western Conference Finals, whilst both channels will air the finals.
It remains unclear if the live games shown weekly by both channels will be different ones.
“This agreement provides even more live content for our customers to watch at home or on the move,” Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports, said. “The NBA has a strong fan base in the UK and the sold-out game at the O2 promises to be a great sporting spectacle. We follow NBA London Live 2013 with primetime Sunday night games for the remainder of the regular-season and the drama of the post-season including every game of the NBA Finals.”
Dan Markham, NBA vice president of media distribution and emerging markets, added: “We are thrilled to partner with Sky Sports and make extensive NBA coverage – including Sunday double-headers in primetime – accessible to fans on television and across a range of devices. We look forward to bringing more exciting moments from the NBA season to fans in the UK on Sky Sports.”
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