Sky Sports will take over as the home of NBA basketball coverage in the UK after announcing a new four-year broadcast and multi-platform partnership.
As part of the deal, announced just a few days prior to the start of the 2018/19 season, Sky Sports will take over from pay-TV rival BT Sport as the NBA’s exclusive UK broadcast partner and official website operator in the UK and Ireland.
The partnership will also see live games and highlights of the WNBA – Women’s National Basketball Association – starting with the 2019 season that tips off in May.
As part of the NBA’s most extensive UK partnership ever, Sky Sports will broadcast extensive season-long games and programming, including more than 170 live games and a record number of live weekend primetime games starting from 8.30pm UK time.
Sky Sports will also become the NBA’s new online destination for fans in the UK with extensive video highlights, news, stats, scores and original digital content, enabling fans to stay connected to the game.
The new season tips off on the morning of Wednesday, 17 October, with a star-stubbed double-header headlined by the defending champions Golden State Warriors and their superstar Steph Curry beginning their defence of the title at home to Oklahoma City Thunder.
Prior to that game, the season and Sky Sports’ coverage begins at 1am with the Philadelphia 76ers visiting the Boston Celtics – the culmination of a blockbuster start to the season that will feature 48 hours of continuous NBA action on a special Sky Sports Arena takeover.
From 6am on Tuesday a range of specialised programming featuring archived ‘Classic Games’ and much more will begin the build-up to the new season.
An additional highlight of the upcoming campaign will see the New York Knicks take on the Washington Wizards at The O2 as part of the NBA London Game 2019 – the NBA’s ninth regular-season game in London, which will also be live on Sky Sports.
Sky Sports Mix, available to all Sky TV customers at no extra cost, will show one match every Saturday with full-season coverage across Sky Sports Action, Sky Sports Arena, Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports News.
Throughout the season an average of five live games per week during the 2018-19 regular season including 42 games in primetime as part of the league’s NBA Saturdays and NBA Sundays Europe-wide weekend prime-time initiative.
Additionally, Sky Sports will broadcast four back-to-back games on Christmas Day from 5pm local time, totalling over 10 hours of live coverage.
NBA EMEA vice president, Global Media Distribution, Elsa Memmi said:
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland. With a record number of weekend primetime games, a season-long schedule of live games and programming, and extensive highlights available online and on mobile, Sky Sports will be the true home of the NBA for fans.”
In addition to the regular season action, fans can also look forward to marquee year-round events including NBA All-Star, the NBA Playoffs, the NBA Conference Finals, the NBA Finals, the NBA Draft, as well as NBA Hardwood Classic games, all live across Sky Sports platforms.
Barney Francis, Sky Sports Managing Director, added:
“This is great news for our customers and for NBA fans in the UK and Ireland. We’re partnering with a really exciting sport that has a fascinating history and an even more compelling future.
“With some of the biggest stars in world sport we know the NBA will bring drama and entertainment to our customers week after week, available across our many different platforms.”
For more information about the NBA, visit the official website – nba.com.