BASKETBALL: Sky Sports signs new BBL deal

Sky Sports will continue to showcase the best action from the British Basketball League (BBL) after announcing a new one-year rights deal to cover the forthcoming 2012/13 season.

All 25 weeks of British basketball’s premier men’s competitions will be extensively covered by the broadcaster, including live coverage of the BBL Cup Final, Playoff Final, and Trophy Final.

Coverage begins in late October when the current BBL Championship holders Newcastle Eagles face the Leicester Riders in a repeat of last season’s Play-off Final.

Sky Sports will screen a weekly two-hour show featuring highlights of the pick of each week’s games.

They will also show an increased number of live games throughout the season.

The BBL, the top tier of men’s basketball in Great Britain, is made up of one Scottish and 11 English franchises.

It features some of the sport’s finest domestic players including Andrew Sullivan, from the Leicester Riders, who represented Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics.

Newcastle Eagles were crowned BBL Champions for 2012, winning their fifth Championship and becoming the most successful team in the League’s history.

Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports, said: “This deal proves our commitment to offering a wide variety of live sports for our customers.

“Sky Sports caters for a broad range of diverse content and our recent rights renewals give us the strongest line up of live sport for our viewers to watch at home or on the move.”

The new BBL agreement continues a series of rights renewals for Sky Sports, with no less than 16 deals over the last 18 months, including Premier League and UEFA Champions League football, Formula 1, international cricket and European Tour golf.

BBL chairman Paul Blake commented: “Last season’s coverage was extremely well received throughout the sport and we are delighted to extend our relationship with Sky Sports into a third season.

“The coverage last term provided an excellent platform for BBL to showcase our exciting product and we anticipate this season it will be to an even higher standard.”

Coverage will again be provided in conjunction with Televideo, the BBL’s broadcast partner.

Paul Scivill, the managing director of Televideo, said: “We are thrilled to be continuing our partnership with the BBL.

“We are extremely excited about this season’s coverage and the addition of more live games to the schedule.”

The BBL season has been broadcast in full on Sky Sports throughout the past two seasons, with both delayed coverage and live games shown each week.

BBL basketball returned to Sky Sports after a 9-year gap in October 2010.

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30/10/2012 – Newcastle Eagles v Leicester Riders
06/11/2012 – Glasgow Rocks v Worcester Wolves
13/11/2012 – Durham Wildcats v Plymouth Raiders
20/11/2012 – Manchester Giants v Cheshire Jets
27/11/2012 – London Lions v Worcester Wolves
04/12/2012 – BBL Cup Semi Final
11/12/2012 – Plymouth Raiders v Newcastle Eagles
18/12/2012 – Newcastle Eagles v Surrey Heat
08/01/2013 – London Lions v  Leicester Riders (LIVE)
13/01/2013 – BBL Cup Final (LIVE)
22/01/2013 – Manchester Giants v Surrey Heat
29/01/2013 – Plymouth Raiders v Durham Wildcats

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