Sky lands NBA rights

UK pay-television broadcaster BSkyB has acquired rights for basketball’s NBA, the sport’s top competition in North America.

The deal will run for the remainder of the 2012-13 campaign, with BSkyB’s Sky Sports channels showing two games on most weekends before broadcasting the playoffs, the eastern conference finals on an exclusive basis and the season-ending NBA finals on a non-exclusive basis.

To kick-off the agreement, Sky Sports will show the NBA London Live event on an exclusive basis on January 17, with the Detroit Pistons taking on the New York Knicks in a regular-season game at the 02 venue in London. The rights for the London event cover online, mobile and tablet devices.

“The NBA has a strong fan base in the UK and the sold-out game at the O2 promises to be a great sporting spectacle,” Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis said. “We follow NBA London Live 2013 with primetime Sunday night games for the remainder of the regular-season and the drama of the post-season including every game of the NBA finals.”

Last month, UK pay-television broadcaster ESPN acquired live rights in the UK and Ireland for three games per week for the remainder of the NBA’s 2012-13 season. ESPN will show the NBA All-Star Game, the first and second rounds of the playoffs, the western conference finals and the NBA finals.