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BNL chairman Albert Mokoena and minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula © SuperSport

Top local basketball on your screens

SuperSport International has concluded a five-year exclusive broadcast deal with the Basketball National League (BNL), South Africa's new professional basketball league.

In a first for the sport in South Africa, SuperSport will be broadcast partner to the premier men’s league, giving the sport the impetus to harness the sport’s growing popularity.

Matches will be broadcast live, primarily on SuperSport Select (ch 229), and across all platforms, including mobile and online, throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.

Eleven franchises make up the league, which will be played on a north-south conference system starting in October.

“This is an exciting time for basketball in our country,” said Albert Mokoena, chairman of the Basketball National League.

“For the first time, basketball will have a truly national premier league giving our top players the opportunity to excel and to compete with the best that Africa has to offer. This will set the stage for basketball to become a major player in sport in our country.”

During the first year, venues in Johannesburg and Durban will be used.

The Northern Conference will include the following teams: Egoli Magic, North West Goodfellas, Soweto Panthers, Mbombela Wildcats, Polokwane Trailblazers and the Tshwane Suns.

The Southern Conference will include: Cape Mountaineers, Kimberley Diamonds, PE Wind Breakers, Free State Golden Warriors and KZN Marlins.

The league will begin with a round-robin section before advancing to cross-conference quarterfinals, semifinals and the final on December 6.

Said Mokoena: “With SuperSport as our partners and our national league having the endorsement of the Ministry of Sport and Recreation, Sascoc and Basketball SA, our players can look forward to a league where the emphasis will be on a high-quality game combined with entertainment that appeals to the youth.”

SuperSport’s Brandon Foot, Head of Acquisitions and Legal, said that the partnership was a natural development following the recent broadcast deal with the internationally-renowned NBA.

“There is no question that the sport has a captive market. Basketballers now have an avenue for their skills and we couldn’t be happier to be part of this renewal of the local game. We look forward to a strong association.”

Sascoc President Gideon Sam described the broadcast partnership as a major boost for a sport that has hitherto not been regarded as one of the major codes in the country.

“Basketball is now setting the benchmark for other codes that do not have access to television to the extent that they would like to have. I am now more confident than before that basketball will put its past behind them and focus on growing the game throughout the country. Sascoc supports this development and wants to encourage corporates to get behind the league.”


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