NBA and Sinclair confirm local streaming rights deal

  • DSG’s regional sports networks to live stream games on new DTC platform
  • Sinclair has reportedly secured US$600m in financing to help launch new streaming service

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and US media giant Sinclair Broadcast Group have confirmed the expanded renewal of their broadcast partnership.

The extended marketing and digital distribution rights agreement with Diamond Sports Group (DSG), Sinclair’s sports division, will see the company’s regional sports networks (RSNs) live stream games, as well as additional content, on a new streaming service to the local territories of 16 NBA teams.

Teams included in the agreement are the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, and San Antonio Spurs.

Bloomberg had reported earlier this month that Sinclair was close to a deal to carry NBA games on its new streaming offering, adding that the company had secured US$600 million of financing to support the launch.

The report also said that DSG’s new streaming service will expand on its existing platform for regional subscribers and be rolled out in the first half of 2022. It is hoped the new direct-to-consumer (DTC) service will address the decline in regional sports viewership and manage the debts racked up from Sinclair’s 2019 deal for the former Fox RSNs.

“We are excited about our continued partnership with the NBA which allows us to bring the league’s in-demand and exciting basketball content to local fans across multiple platforms,” said Chris Ripley, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s president and chief executive

“Sinclair places the highest importance on connecting sports fans with live games and other sports content. We are looking forward to the launch of our DTC platform in 2022, ushering in a new era of local sports viewing with a more personalised and dynamic viewing experience.”

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