NBA-Sony target Hindi speaking audience

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National Basketball Association (NBA) and Sony Pictures Network are closely working on offering Indian basketball fans a ‘treat’ this NBA season. Get ready for NBA broadcast on Sony in Hindi. Teams from Sony and NBA are working in tandem on Hindi programming.

InsideSport has reliably learnt the matches are all set have ‘off-tube’ Hindi commentary.

NBA on the lines of English Premier League or WWE is trying to increase its base in India. The sport has a decent following in northern India and other Hindi-speaking States. Sony and NBA aim to tap that market in a somewhat similar manner to TEN Sports’ successful experiment with WWE’s Hindi programming.

Sony has been conducting workshops for talent, which was identified by the NBA team. InsideSport.co has shared a questionnaire with Sony for response from the top management. We are informed by the PR team that there is ‘no information to share’.

When contacted, the NBA India Managing Director Yannick Colaco’s office refused to comment on the development. “Nothing is final so far,” was the reaction from NBA. InsideSport.co has reliably learnt that Colaco’s team is working in tandem with Sony on various aspects of NBA Hindi programming.

Sony Pictures Network, previously Multi Screen Media, as part of its multi-year deal, has been broadcasting NBA action in India on Sony Six. NBA games are also beamed live on Sony’s digital platform Sony LIV, too.

Live telecast of the 2017 edition of NBA’s professional basketball elimination tournament is slated for May 14 between 5:30 am and 10.30 am on Sony Six.

Live broadcast of late games in the US has always been a challenge for Sony in India, as the action catches Indian viewers early morning (7-9 am). Sports has traditionally not been the first choice for ‘breakfast viewers’ in the country. Hindi programming is expected to help increase the audience base in rural India where basketball has a good acceptance.

There have been some NBA games to record 23 TVTs, past record show viewers from almost a million strong pan-India base have spent over 30 minutes on some big ticket games.

NBA is spreading its wing fast in India. The ambitious aim of seeing the NBA as No. 2 sports in the country is a big task. For now, that position has been acquired by kabaddi with STAR India’s aggressive approach, big investments and smart strategies. Sony and NBA are collectively faced with a bar to scale that has also been set high by various indigenous leagues in India.

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