Eleven adds NBA G League to basketball portfolio

International sports broadcaster Eleven Sports has acquired rights in a number of territories to the G League, the NBA basketball league’s developmental competition.

The deal grants Eleven rights to 120 live regular-season games during the 2017-18 season.

The agreement covers the United States, Belgium, Luxembourg, Singapore and Taiwan, with games to be shown with local-language commentary in each market.

Coverage begins today (Wednesday) with the NBA G League Showcase, the premier in-season scouting event which features the league’s 26 teams playing two regular-season games each over the course of four days. The event will be held in Mississauga, Ontario, home of Canadian team Raptors 905.

The deal comes after Eleven last month renewed an agreement for rights in Taiwan to the NBA. The new five-year deal ensures NBA coverage continues to be shown on Eleven Sports via cable television and through the broadcaster’s OTT platform. Eleven also holds live and exclusive NBA rights in Belgium, Luxembourg and Singapore.

“Our partnership with Eleven Sports is a monumental one for the NBA G League as we further solidify our position as the NBA’s official minor league and extend our outreach around the world to markets where fans are passionate about basketball,” G League president Malcolm Turner said. 

“During this historic year in which a record 26 teams are competing this season, the league will only grow and its popularity will continue to rise through Eleven Sports’ presentation of our games.”

Anthony Bailey, managing director of Eleven Sports in the US, added: “This partnership positions Eleven Sports as a go-to destination for dedicated basketball fans in the US, a primary market of one of the world’s most popular sports. This in turn helps us to increase consumer loyalty as we continue to build a sports eco-system for dedicated fans. The popularity of the NBA and NBA G League brand will also enable us to leverage the extensive social community through the bold, experimental approach that we will employ with the G League.

“There is no question that the NBA is one of the most innovative leagues in the world. They will produce all games and Eleven, one of the more young and innovative sports providers to enter the market, will have the rights to use different distribution and content strategies primed for today’s fans. This will include different views and angles to extend the viewer match experience, and highlights that drive live engagement. We are looking forward to collaborating with NBA G League on what is a very exciting project.”