Singapore telco Starhub picks up NBA rights

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MAY 23: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks dunks the ball in the first quarter against the Toronto Raptors during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at the Fiserv Forum on May 23, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Singapore telco Starhub has acquired rights to broadcast seven regular-season National Basketball Association games per week in a multi-year deal starting with the 2019-20 season, which tips off October 23.

Starhub will also show selected Playoffs games, and all of the Conference Finals and Finals. Starhub’s coverage will be on the NBA TV HD and Hub Sports 2 channels, and on the Starhub Go OTT app. The NBA TV channel is being added to the telco’s sports channel package at no additional cost for subscribers.

Starhub is picking up rights that were dropped by Eleven Sports, the multi-territory pay-television broadcaster that shut down its Singapore operation last summer. Eleven had a four-year deal for the rights that was supposed to run from 2016-17 to 2019-20. Last season, live NBA coverage was only available in Singapore via the League Pass OTT service. Prior to Eleven’s deal, Starhub was the main NBA rights-holder in Singapore, in deals spanning the period from 2010-11 to 2015-16.

NBA coverage is also available in Singapore this season via the Missing in Action ‘mixed-reality’ app from Australian technology company Unbnd. The app works with virtual-reality headsets attached to mobile devices, and users can use it to watch highlights.

Yann Courqueux, the vice-president for Home Product at Starhub, said: “Basketball is one of the most watched sports globally, and we are absolutely delighted to bring the NBA, the top professional basketball league in the world, to Singapore.”

Ramez Sheikh, the NBA Asia head of global content and media distribution, said: “As a leading service and content provider in Singapore, StarHub is an ideal partner to bring NBA games and programming to our fans in Singapore.”

Starhub’s other key sports properties include the ongoing Rugby World Cup, which it is showing via a carriage deal with beIN Sports; football from the Uefa Champions League, Bundesliga, and LaLiga; the four tennis Grand Slams; and the golf Majors.