NBA switches to single rights-holder for Indian market

Indian sports and entertainment pay-television channel Sony Six has agreed a three-year deal, from 2012-13 to 2014-15, for the exclusive rights to show NBA basketball in India.

Sony Six will broadcast live NBA games each week on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, with repeat broadcasts of the games shown in local prime-time slots, the Indian Television website reported.

The deal covers 72 regular-season games and up to 18 play-off games per season, as well as the Eastern and Western Conference finals, the NBA finals and NBA All-Star events.

The league and Sony Six will also create a weekly NBA lifestyle programme and a series of instructional shows to educate Indian viewers about basketball.

NBA rights in India had been split between Sony broadcast subsidiary Multi-Screen Media and pay-television broadcaster Taj Television since 2010.

“The NBA is the largest professional basketball league in the world and we at Sony Six plan to tap into the youth segment that already has a passion and love for the game and grow new fans,” Multi-Screen Media chief executive Man Jit Singh said. “Our focus on India’s youth fits very well with the audience that wants to watch basketball.”