NBA launches first African channel on YouTube

NBA All-Star Game 2019 (Getty Images)

The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that it has partnered with Google’s YouTube to launch its first ever channel for fans in the sub-Saharan region.

The channel will feature two live games per week in primetime for the rest of the 2018-19 season, including the Playoffs, Conference Finals and The Finals. Aside from the live games, the channel will also showcase the league’s long history of growing basketball at all levels across the continent.

The channel will also air original content, from documentaries about African-born players to collaborations with African YouTubers. Fans can also expect a customized weekly magazine show as well as original and archived programming.

The first two live game broadcasts will take place this Sunday, March 24, and will feature the Charlotte Hornets hosting the Boston Celtics at 12.00a.m (CAT) followed by the L.A Clippers visiting the New York Knicks at 6.00pm (CAT).

NBA Vice President and Managing Director for Africa, Amadou Gallo Fall, lauded the partnership saying it was an important milestone for the NBA in Africa and that this would be sure to bring excitement of the NBA to more fans in sub-Saharan Africa while celebrating the NBA’s rich history and bright future in Africa.

More than 80 former or current NBA players were either born in or have direct family ties to Africa. In the 2018-19 season, there are 13 African-born players listed on NBA rosters.

This move is not the only one NBA has made to penetrate the African market, it opened headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2010 and an NBA Academy Africa in 2017. It also held three sold-out Africa Games in Johnnesburg in the same year.