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NBA launches Africa Youtube channel with two live games per week

The NBA has launched a Sub-Saharan Africa-specific YouTube channel, which will feature two live game broadcasts per week for the rest of the 2018-19 season.

The NBA Africa channel will show original and archived programming, including NBA documentaries, original content from Africa-based YouTube creators and a weekly magazine show.

Live game coverage will kick off on March 24 with the Charlotte Hornets v Boston Celtics and the LA Clippers v the New York Knicks. The channel will also broadcast the 2018-19 Playoffs, Conference Finals and the Finals.

The NBA said the aim of the channel is to showcase the impact of African players on the league. Opening-night rosters for the 2018-19 season featured 13 African-born players.

The new channel is a continuation of NBA’s existing partnership with Google-owned YouTube, which saw the NBA become the first professional sports league to launch its own channel on the service, in 2005. To date, the NBA YouTube channel has generated more than 5.4 billion views.

NBA broadcast rights in sub-Saharan Africa were held by Econet-owned Kwesé TV from 2016, although the company closed its pay-TV service last year with many rights-fee payments outstanding. It has since agreed a repayment plan with some rights-holders, including the NBA.