With basketball popularity declining in the UK, Sky Sports attempt to get the ball rolling by being the new home of the NBA.
Sky Sports, the UK’s biggest subscription television sports brand, has recently struck a deal with the NBA (National Basketball Association) to televise more than 170 live games.
The deal will last for four years and will include all prime time matches shown live, classic matches with legendary players plus interviews, post match analysis and more.
Finlay Hutchison, from the Sky Sports press office told us that “The NBA is a global brand, and having it readily available as a domestic brand is a big deal.”
Sky Sports hope that this deal will bring
more attention the fast paced sport and expect that the readily availability will allow for the sport to grow again in the UK.
However, basketball has been a sport in decline in the UK for over 10 years now and it is hoped that the new broadcast deal can be a catalyst for success to bring the sport back into the public eye.
The model for the establishment of American sports in the UK has been tried and tested by Sky in the past with the rejuvenation of American football and the NFL being broadcast in the UK.
Basketball has seen about 100,000 people stop playing for there local clubs in the past decade which has been caused back lack of interest and even Team GB funding cuts affected the sport.
Sergio Lara-Bercial, ex Team GB basketball coach and Leeds Beckett University reader thinks that the sport is overwhelmed by people’s interests in other sports as he said “The majority of our students are from either a football background or a rugby background… and basketball usually out of every hundred, you’ll get two or three.”
The new season starts on Wednesday morning seeing the Philadelphia 76ers face off against the Boston Celtics at 1am.
By Joe Cook and Owen Tyrie