NBA Africa and ESPN Africa has announced a multiyear agreement that will see ESPN2 (DStv 219 and Starsat 249) broadcast a record of more than 180 NBA regular season and Playoff games each season, including the entire Conference Finals and Finals, beginning with the 2022-23 NBA season that tipped off last month.
As part of the agreement, ESPN Africa will broadcast all 45 games live in primetime in Africa this season, as part of “NBA Saturdays and NBA Sundays presented by NBA 2K23,” which features games starting as early as 19:00 CAT and the league’s biggest stars. Additionally, ESPN2 will air the NBA Christmas Day games, NBA All-Star, the Play-In Tournament, the weekly magazine show “NBA Action,” the NBA Draft and the multi-game live look-in programme “NBA 360.”
ESPN2 will broadcast 30 classic games each season and will continue to deliver marquee U.S.-produced studio programming covering NBA news and updates, including SportsCenter and NBA Today. Audiences across Africa will also have access to new localized NBA programming. In addition, africa.espn.com will feature original content covering NBA Africa events on the continent, including youth and elite basketball development programming, NBA player and legend appearances, and more. The complete NBA 2022-23 game schedule, including 45 primetime weekend games in Africa, is available here.
“As the home of American sports in Africa, ESPN is committed to showcasing the very best in premier sporting content through a uniquely diversified and exciting portfolio of sporting leagues to audiences across Africa,” said Kyle De Klerk, Director for Sports Commercial and Business, Walt Disney Company Africa. “This extended broadcast agreement with NBA Africa expands on this promise, and the exhilarating new programming on offer will give fans across the continent even more opportunity to share in the passion and excellence of this renowned league.”
“ESPN Africa airing a record number of NBA games and providing more locally-relevant content to our fans underscores the momentum for the NBA in Africa and will help us continue to grow the game across the continent,” said Kornelia Semmelink, NBA Africa Senior Director, Global Media Partnerships. “Through this expanded collaboration, we will make the excitement of the NBA more accessible to fans in Africa on the devices and platforms they use most, including in primetime.”
“NBA Saturdays and NBA Sundays presented by NBA 2K23,” the league’s initiative to schedule weekend games in primetime in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, will air on ESPN2 and includes:
- Sunday, 27 November: Four-time NBA champion and 2022 Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Stephen Curry, four-time NBA All-Star Draymond Green, five-time NBA All-Star Klay Thompson and the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors visit three-time NBA All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns, three-time NBA All-Star and Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert (France), 2020-21 Kia NBA All-Rookie First Team member Anthony Edwards and the Minnesota Timberwolves at 22:30.
- Sunday, 25 December: Four-time NBA champion and Finals MVP LeBron James, 2020 NBA champion and eight-time NBA All-Star Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers visit 2021-22 Kia All-NBA First Team member Luka Doncić and the Dallas Mavericks at 21:30 on Christmas Day, followed by an NBA Sundays presented by NBA 2K23 rematch in Dallas on 26 February at 22:30.
- Saturday, 14 January: Six-time NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler, 2020 NBA All-Star Bam Adebayo, 2021-22 Kia NBA Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro and the Miami Heat host two-time Kia NBA MVP and 2021 NBA champion Giannis Antetokounmpo, three-time NBA All-Star Khris Middleton, four-time Kia NBA All-Defensive Team member Jrue Holiday and the Milwaukee Bucks at 20:00.
- Saturday, 28 January: Reigning back-to-back Kia NBA MVP Nikola Jokić and the Denver Nuggets visit five-time NBA All-Star Joel Embiid, 2017-18 Kia NBA MVP and 10-time NBA All-Star James Harden and the 76ers at 22:00 as part of NBA Rivals Week. Embiid and Jokić were the top two 2021-22 Kia NBA MVP finalists, with Jokić winning the award for the second consecutive season.
- Sunday, 12 February: Three-time NBA All-Star Jayson Tatum, 2021 NBA All-Star Jaylen Brown, 2021-22 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart and the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics host 2022 NBA All-Star Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies at 21:00.
- Sunday, 5 March: Curry, Green, Thompson and the Warriors visit Davis, James and the Lakers at 22:30.
- Sunday, 9 April: Three-time NBA All-Star Devin Booker, 12-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns host George, Leonard and the Clippers at 21:30.
ESPN Africa has been NBA Africa’s pay TV broadcast partner in Africa since 2019. All broadcast times are provided in Central African time (CAT / SAST).
ESPN is a multinational, multimedia sports entertainment enterprise featuring a portfolio of more than 50 multimedia sports assets. It has 8 US TV networks and 26 International Networks, ESPN Audio (broadcast, satellite, digital, podcasts), the leading portfolio of digital sports services in the world, ESPN The Magazine, consumer products, ESPN Events and more. ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Hearst holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise that includes Disney Parks, Experiences and Products; Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution; and three content groups – Studios, General Entertainment and Sports – focused on developing and producing content for DTC, theatrical and linear platforms. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $65.4 billion in its Fiscal Year 2020.
The Walt Disney Company has been in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for over 80 years and employs thousands across the region. Between Disneyland Paris and its other iconic brands, including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, 20th Century Studios and ESPN, The Walt Disney Company EMEA entertains, informs and inspires millions of consumers in more than 130 countries through the power of unparalleled storytelling. Disney+, the company’s direct-to-consumer streaming service, is currently available in 17 markets across Europe.
NBA Africa is a standalone entity formed in May 2021 that conducts the NBA’s business in Africa, including the Basketball Africa League (BAL). The NBA has a long history in Africa and opened its African headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2010 before opening additional offices in Dakar, Senegal, and Lagos, Nigeria. The league’s efforts on the continent have focused on increasing access to basketball and the NBA through youth and elite development, social responsibility, media distribution, corporate partnerships, NBA Africa Games, the BAL, and more.
NBA games and programming are available in all 54 African countries, and the NBA has hosted three sold-out exhibition games on the continent since 2015. The BAL, a partnership between the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and NBA Africa, is a professional league featuring 12 club teams from across Africa that completed its second season in May 2022.