It is the first time the NBA will be available on SA free-to-air television since the 1990s. Photo: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

JOHANNESBURG – South African fans of the National Basketball Association will once more gain access to one of the most popular and trendsetting leagues in the world through TV channel e-tv.

The NBA and e-tv announced a multi-year partnership on Friday, making the channel the official free-to-air broadcast partner of the American sports league in South Africa.

It’s the first time the NBA will be available on free-to-air television since the 1990s when the popular NBA Inside Stuff magazine show first aired on the SABC, and raised awareness of basketball and especially the NBA among many South Africans. 

This year’s deal will see e-tv broadcast more than 65 games throughout the 2019-20 season, on its free-to-air channel and through its OpenView satellite platform. Among the games that e-tv will broadcast are the NBA All Star Game in Chicago next February, a Christmas Day game, the NBA Conference Finals and the NBA Finals next June. 

The NBA’s Managing Director in Africa, Amadou Gallo Fall, said he was excited about the NBA’s new partnership, explaining it was vital for the league to reach as many people as possible through a free-to-air channel in South Africa.

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“As we continue our efforts to expand our footprint and build on the success of three sold-out NBA Africa Games, we have seen growing interest and look forward to reaching more fans in South Africa through live games and additional programming,” said Gallo Fall.

That additional programming will include the new magazine programme NBA Action, which includes news about the league and highlights. 

The first game to be broadcast as part of the deal, will be on air this Sunday when the San Antonio Spurs face the Boston Celtics at midnight. The game will be repeated the next day on OpenView at 5pm. 

@shockerhess

 

The Star

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