NBA and Alhurra TV Announce New Agreement
Posted Nov 12 2004 3:46PM
Alhurra Satellite TV Channel Delivers NBA Games and Programming to 22 Countries
NEW YORK/SPRINGFIELD, VA, Nov. 11, 2004 – The NBA and Alhurra Television announced today a new agreement through which the Middle East satellite television channel will provide the growing basketball fan base with NBA games for the first time.
The agreement includes a top NBA matchup to be televised live every week in the Middle East throughout the season, along with weekly customized episodes of NBA Jam, a lifestyle show offering behind-the-scenes features of NBA teams and players. This marks the second season Alhurra has partnered with the NBA since the channel’s debut in February 2004, when episodes of NBA Inside Stuff were broadcast weekly.
“We are all very excited about the addition of the NBA game of the week to Alhurra’s line-up. Our live coverage will add significantly to Alhurra’s already impressive audience,” said Norman J. Pattiz, Chairman of Broadcasting Board of Governors Middle East Committee. “Our NBA coverage will complement our expanding news and information programming schedule.”
“Alhurra is quickly becoming a very prominent and valuable source of news, information and entertainment to millions of Arabic speakers,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern. “We are gratified to play a role in its growth and development as we continue to bring NBA games and programming to fans in the Middle East and around the world.”
Launched in February 2004, Alhurra (Arabic for “The Free One”) is the latest and most technologically advanced television organization to enter the crowded Middle East satellite television market. The satellite channel is a 24-hour primarily news and information network broadcast in Arabic. It can be seen in 22 countries throughout the region via Arabsat and Nilesat, the same satellites used by all major Arabic channels. Alhurra is operated by a non-profit corporation “The Middle East Television Network, Inc.” (MTN). MTN is financed by the U.S. Government through a grant from the BBG, an independent federal agency. The BBG provides oversight and serves as a firewall to protect the professional independence and integrity of the broadcasters.
Since its founding in 1946, the NBA has truly become a global phenomenon that transcends national boundaries. With 30 teams in the United States and Canada, NBA games and related programming are broadcast to 214 countries in 43 languages via 157 telecasters; they are one of the largest suppliers of sports television and Internet programming in the world. NBA.com, with more than half of all visits to the site coming from fans outside the United States, has nine language-specific international destinations for fans around the world. At the start of the 2004-05 season, NBA rosters featured 81 international players from 35 countries and territories. The NBA is a recognized leader in global sports marketing with 13 offices around the world.