ESPN scoops rights to US national basketball games

ESPN has signed a deal with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) giving it the exclusive broadcast rights to all FIBA competitions. The three-year deal will cover the FIBA Americas Championship in 2009 and 2011, as well as the World Championships and all US national team games..............click headline for more

Length of contract: 3 years | Annualised value: US$16 million | Overall value: US$48 million

ESPN has signed a deal with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) giving it the exclusive broadcast rights to all FIBA competitions. The three-year deal will cover the FIBA Americas Championship in 2009 and 2011, as well as the World Championships and all US national team games.

The deal covers more than 250 games, many of which will be available exclusively via broadband network ESPN360.com, which is currently available in nearly 25 million homes across America. ESPN will also offer matches on other digital platforms.

"We're thrilled to partner with FIBA to add this collection of marquee international events to our basketball portfolio," said John Skipper, executive vice president of content for ESPN. "This deal fuels ESPN360.com with exclusive content, adding to its robust premier basketball offerings, and provides compelling world championship programming for ESPN and ESPN2 and a variety of other ESPN platforms. We believe this deal will continue to enhance the tremendous growth of international basketball in the USA."

The US national team drew record audiences on its road to Olympic gold in Beijing last summer.