Digicel Sportsmax nets five-year NBA deal
Digicel SportsMax landed a five-year partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA) to deliver live games and extensive NBA programming to more than 30 Caribbean territories, which would make Digicel the official wireless partner of the NBA in the region.
It will see Digicel SportsMax broadcast up to 48 NBA regular season, and as many as eight, play-off games.
The sports channel will also offer fans content-rich programming, including the highlights show, NBA Action, NBA TV - the league's 24-hour channel and select classic games.
The partnership will include NBA broadcasts in Spanish on the CDN SportsMax channel in the Dominican Republic.
In the 2015-16 NBA season, Digicel will launch NBA.com/Caribbean, the first official NBA online destination for Caribbean fans, which will offer extensive and localised NBA editorial and video content, with NBA.com/Caribbean the league's 19th international web destination.
"It's been a great road heading here. The NBA is committed to growing the league in a global market," Phillippe Maggio, NBA senior vice-president, Latin America, told the gathering at a media/press launch at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston yesterday.
"We are excited to bring our passionate fans in the Caribbean more live games and content through the new strategic partnership with Digicel," Maggio said. "We are thrilled to be here to celebrate this five-year deal," he added.
Oliver McIntosh, Digicel SportsMax president and CEO, spoke of the long road that led to this new venture.
"It's been 13 years since our humble beginnings. Then, seven months ago, we became part of the Digicel family. We have grown and worked with sporting organisations all around the Caribbean. We have positioned ourselves in the market," McIntosh said.
"Today, we welcome NBA to the broadcast on Digicel SportsMax. It is a five-year deal. This marks up for one of the deepest partnerships," he noted.
John Suranyl, Digicel Play CEO, Caribbean and Central America, was also excited about the deal.
"This is a momentous occasion for Digicel SportsMax. Since our launch in Jamaica in 2001, we are committed to sports. This is a landmark partnership, and we are proud to be a partner with the NBA and looking forward to exciting days," Suranyl said.
The historic deal was expected to kick in last night, with Digicel SportsMax's broadcast of a regular season NBA game.
The territories included in the NBA partnership are Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, CuraÁao, Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, St Martin, St Maarten, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos.