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NBA confirms Movistar rights extension in Spain

New deal with pay-TV network to run until the end of 2023.

30 September 2020 Tom Bassam

Getty Images

  • NBA League Pass to be distributed via Movistar’s Emoción mobile portal at cut price
  • DAZN was reportedly in the running for rights deal

Telecommunications firm Telefónica and the National Basketball Association (NBA) have confirmed a multi-year expansion of their existing Spanish broadcast partnership, which will now stretch past its 25th year.

The extension, previously reported as running for three years, sees the Movistar Plus pay-TV network continue to have rights to hundreds of live NBA games each season, including every week throughout the regular season, as well as all playoff and finals games until the end of 2023. The deal also includes the NBA All-Star game and original NBA programming.

The new deal also sees the NBA League Pass over-the-top (OTT) service distributed via Movistar’s Emoción mobile portal, with the telecommunications giant’s customers being offered access at a discounted rate.

According to multiple reports, global digital sports media company DAZN was also in the running for the contract but ultimately lost out to the incumbent broadcaster. DAZN holds Spanish rights to European club basketball’s EuroLeague and EuroCup, which it prized away from Telefonica, as well as the Basketball Champions League club tournament, which is backed by the International Basketball Federation (Fiba).

NBA EME vice president, global media distribution, Elsa Memmi, said: “Our passionate fans in Spain will continue to enjoy comprehensive live NBA game coverage, highlights and programming for years to come.”

Game one of the 2020 NBA finals featuring the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat will air on Movistar Plus channels #Vamos and M+ Deportes, with tip off on 1st October at 3am local time.

The expanded deal was announced on the same day that the NBA also confirmed a multi-year extension of its broadcast partnership with subscription network Eleven Sports, which has retained its linear and digital rights in Belgium.

Telefonica and the NBA have confirmed a multi-year expansion of their existing Spanish broadcast partnership

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