The National Basketball Association has signed a deal with YouTube for a dedicated African channel to boost its presence on the continent.
The NBA is working with Google's video-sharing unit to provide original content and bring NBA games live to African fans, NBA Vice President and Managing Director for Africa Amadou Gallo Fall said in an email. The games will include the playoffs, conference finals and the finals.
The first two live game broadcasts on the new Africa channel will be the Charlotte Hornets against the Boston Celtics, followed by the LA Clippers versus the New York Knicks.
Documentaries that showcase Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame players such as Nigeria's Hakeem Olajuwon and Dikembe Mutombo from the Democratic Republic of Congo will form part of the original-content offering.
It's a new step to increase exposure on the continent for the NBA after it opened an office in Johannesburg nine years ago and announced the start of a professional Africa league with 12 club teams last month. From its academy in Senegal, three graduates have already committed to colleges in the U.S. as student athletes.
"We have hosted three sold-out NBA Africa games over the past four years in South Africa and there is a strong business case to expand our fan base and provide more access to our games," Fall said.