The NBA and ESPN Agree to Multichannel Deal
Multi-year agreement provides close to 100 NBA games, original programming and classic content to UK and Irish sports fans each season on ESPN,
ESPN America and ESPN Classic
LONDON – 30 SEPTEMBER 2009 – ESPN and the NBA today announced a multi-year agreement to add close to 100 live NBA games to ESPN in the UK and Ireland. In addition to the live games, ESPN networks will air the studio show NBA Fastbreak, the original series NBA Action and all-time great NBA games.
ESPN will tip off its NBA coverage on 6 October at 19h30 BST, live from The O2 arena in London, where the Utah Jazz will take on the Chicago Bulls as part of NBA Europe Live 2009 presented by EA SPORTS. In addition to the game in London, viewers will see the second NBA Europe Live game when the Utah Jazz take on Euroleague Basketball’s Real Madrid on 8 October at 19h45 BST in Madrid.
ESPN’s full NBA games package has up to three games a week, including a weekly game on Sunday in primetime, the NBA All-Star Game, the Playoffs and The Finals in standard and high definition. The ESPN produced studio show, NBA Fastbreak, will air on both ESPN and ESPN America. NBA Action – the award-winning, original series that gives an inside look at gameday preparation of the league’s star athletes – will also be aired on ESPN. ESPN is available on Sky, Virgin Media, BT Vision, Top Up TV, Tiscali and UPC (in Ireland).
“We are thrilled to be expanding our global relationship with ESPN and bringing fans increased coverage of the NBA,” said Sophie Goldschmidt, NBA EMEA Managing Director. “Through ESPN’s multiple channels, NBA games and highlights will now be available to a broader audience in the UK and Ireland.”
Jeroen Oerlemans, Vice President, TV Channels Europe, Middle East and Africa said, “The NBA is one of the world’s top sports properties, with some of the greatest athletes on the planet. This agreement allows us to deliver all of the action and excitement of the NBA to sports fans in the UK and Ireland. ESPN continues to build a fantastic offering of local and international sport. ”
About the NBA
The NBA, founded in 1946, is a global sports and entertainment brand that features 30 teams in the United States and Canada. During the 2008-09 season, NBA games reached 215 countries and territories in 41 languages. The league’s worldwide reach was also reflected in the 77 international players from 33 countries and territories on NBA rosters. NBA merchandise is sold in more than 100,000 stores in 100 countries on six continents. NBA.com averages more than five million daily visits, with more than 50 percent of the site’s visitors coming from outside of North America. Through NBA Cares, the league, its teams and players have donated more than $110 million to charity, provided more than one million hours of hands-on service to communities around the world, and created more than 425 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play.
In June 2007, the NBA reached eight-year agreements to have ABC, ESPN and TNT televise NBA games through the 2015-16 season in the US.
Based in Bristol, Connecticut, ESPN, Inc. is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 50 multimedia sports assets. ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.
ESPN International has grown to include ownership – in whole or in part – of over 46 television networks outside of the United States, as well as a variety of brand extension businesses, which allow ESPN to reach fans in 200 countries and territories. In the UK, ESPN now includes a portfolio of television and digital brands including ESPN, ESPN Classic, ESPN America, ESPNcricinfo.com, ESPNscrum.com, ESPNsoccernet.com, ESPN360,com and Racing-live.com.
On 22 June, ESPN was awarded the exclusive rights to 46 Live Barclays Premier League matches in the 2009-10 Season and 23 matches a season from 2010-2013. ESPN has also been awarded exclusive live rights to Clydesdale Bank Premier League games for the next five seasons, showing 30 live games each season across the UK and Ireland, starting with the 2009-10 campaign this August and games from the German, Dutch, Russian and Portuguese national football leagues. ESPN has also secured multiyear UK and Ireland rights to air the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Top 14 Orange (French Rugby Championship) and the Australian Football League (AFL).
ESPN Classic Sport now has five networks (UK, French, Italian, pan-European and Middle Eastern feeds) available in over 40 countries, and ESPN America has rights to show NFL, NHL, MLB and NCAA Football and Basketball across Europe, available in 43 countries. Online, Soccernet is the destination of choice for football fans worldwide. ESPN acquired cricinfo.com – the world’s leading cricket website – and scrum.com – a leading rugby news, features and information portal – in summer 2007. ESPN360.com – the company’s signature broadband service – launched in Europe in January 2008. In August 2008, ESPN acquired the world’s leading independent motor racing website, Racing-Live.com.
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