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NBA to stream games on Facebook and Twitter in Philippines as rights talks drag on

The National Basketball Association announced on Tuesday that selected 2019-20 regular-season games will be live streamed in the Philippines for free on social media platforms Facebook and Twitter.

The NBA does not yet have a media rights partner in the Philippines for the 2019-20 season. Talks with potential partners have run late since previous rights-holder Solar withdrew its interest and shut down its basketball-themed pay-television channels last month. Pay-television platforms Cignal and Sky Cable, bidding jointly, are thought to be the favourites to land a deal for the rights.

The 2019-20 NBA season begins today, October 22, although the first games will take place on October 23 in the Philippines. In this first week of the season, from October 23 to 29 Philippines time, there will be live and on-demand access to one game per day on the league’s Facebook and Twitter accounts in the Philippines. From October 31 onwards, one game will be available each Monday and Thursday.

NBA Philippines managing director Carlo Singson said: “We are excited to celebrate the start of the new season by streaming games on social media for the first time in the country. The Philippines is one of the world’s leaders in social media penetration and usage with over 17 million followers of the league’s social media accounts, making it an ideal platform to livestream NBA content.

“With NBA games on Facebook Watch and Twitter, we are empowering the digital lifestyle of our fans with the ability to enjoy the NBA anytime, anywhere.  As the media landscape evolves, we look forward to introducing more ways to bring NBA games to a nationwide audience this season.”