North American basketball’s NBA and Sky Italia, the dominant Italian pay-television operator, have agreed on a multi-year extension of their existing broadcast and multi-platform agreement.
The extension will see Sky Italia continue as the NBA’s official broadcaster and website operator in Italy. This will involve Sky Italia airing over 300 live NBA matches per season across its linear channels and digital services.
Also included are Prime time weekend games as part of the league’s NBA Saturdays and NBA Sundays European primetime initiative, which features games taking place in slots more suitable to a European audience.
The last deal extension, a four-year renewal, between the NBA and Sky Italia was announced in September 2019.
Coverage additionally features the Play-In Tournament, NBA Playoffs, the Conference Finals, the Finals, and NBA 360, the league’s multiplex broadcast format that provides simultaneous coverage of up to 15 matches on certain days during the season.
Daily matches and programming will continue to be available on the broadcaster's 24-hour NBA channel, Sky Sport NBA.
The Sky Sport 24 channel will also have a daily show called Basket Room, featuring highlights, analysis, commentary, interviews, tactical insights, and match previews by the Sky Sport NBA team.
In terms of the digital space, on top of its NBA social media channels, Sky Italia will continue to operate sport.sky.it/nba, the league’s official online destination in Italy. This involves video highlights, news, stats, scores, analysis, and original digital content.
NBA Europe and Middle East vice president of global media distribution, Elsa Memmi, said: "We are thrilled to continue working with Sky Italia to provide fans in Italy with comprehensive NBA coverage throughout the season and across our marquee events."
“Through this extension, fans in Italy will be able to enjoy around-the-clock NBA programming, including regular weekend games in primetime and a variety of offerings across Sky’s linear and digital channels.”
Marzio Perrelli, executive vice president for sport at Sky, added: “It is with great pleasure that we announce that our broadcast and multiplatform agreement with the NBA has been renewed for multiple years.
“This relationship has spanned the 20 years since Sky Italy’s inception, getting stronger season after season. NBA fans in Italy will continue to enjoy a unique product, with the most popular stars and exceptional athletes showcasing their talents.
“Sky will provide live coverage of the main games and events during the entire season on the Sky Sport NBA channel along with its shows and continuous analysis and insights into the world’s most popular basketball league, all enriched by our special ‘Sky touch’ that makes our productions stand out. The NBA will continue to have a prominent place in the Casa dello Sport (house of sport)."
Last month, the NBA extended and expanded its tie-up with Michelob Ultra, the US beer brand owned by international brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev (A-B).
The deal makes Michelob Ultra the exclusive and worldwide beer partner of the NBA, the Women’s WNBA, the NBA G League, the NBA 2K League, USA Basketball, and the Basketball Africa League.