India: NBA, Viacom18 sign TV, OTT deal

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The NBA and Viacom18 have announced a multiyear partnership to deliver live NBA games and programming to fans in India across TV and streaming.

Beginning with the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Season in 2021-22, Viacom18 will provide coverage of the NBA’s regular season and marquee events in English and Hindi through its Vh1 and MTV channels, and through its digital platforms VOOT and Jio TV.

Coverage will include weekly live games, NBA All-Star, the NBA Play-In Tournament, the NBA Playoffs and the Finals. Viacom18 will also show daily highlights and create original NBA-themed programming that will run on a number of channels across its network.

“While sports are the biggest whitespace that we are entering, to build a truly inclusive and differentiated proposition, we need to look at diverse sporting events from across the globe,” said Anil Jayaraj, CEO – Sports, Viacom18. “Basketball is a sport that is increasingly gaining attention and affinity in India. Through this partnership with the NBA, not only do we want to make basketball mainstream, but also build its lifestyle appeal among sports fans.”

“Globally, basketball is more than a sport – it is a lifestyle,” added Anshul Ailawadi, Head of Youth, Music and English Entertainment for Viacom18. “As we look to build basketball into a cultural phenomenon in India, we welcome this deep partnership with the NBA. Over the course of this association, we will be initiating a heavily localised marketing outreach and consumer connect programme aimed at building fandom for the sport.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Viacom18 to broadcast and stream live NBA games to a nationwide audience,” said Sunny Malik, Head of Global Content and Media Distribution, NBA India. “Basketball’s popularity in India continues to grow, and by offering a range of NBA programming on Viacom18 in both English and Hindi, we look forward to reaching and inspiring millions of new and existing NBA fans across the country.”


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