NBA, SPN To Air Nearly 100 Games With Hindi Commentary During '17-18 Season
In a bid to "penetrate deeper into the Hindi heartland and connect with a wider set of audiences," the NBA, with broadcast partner Sony Pictures Networks India, will air "close to 100 matches with Hindi commentary" during the '17-18 season, according to Gaurav Laghate of the ECONOMIC TIMES. The move comes "on the back of a trial last season," when 14 games were aired with Hindi commentary on Ten 1. Per data provided by NBA India, the games with Hindi commentary were viewed on TV by 8.9 million people in India. NBA India Managing Dir Yannick Colaco said, "India is one of the top two priority markets for us. We want to popularize the game of basketball and NBA in India." Talking about statistics from last season's trial run, Colaco said that in the Hindi-speaking markets, the viewership of the telecast with Hindi commentary was "double of that with English commentary." As part of the plan, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Ten 3 HD will air two NBA games every weekend, including the regular season and playoffs, with Hindi commentary. SPN President of Sports & Distribution Business Rajesh Kaul said that a panel of expert commentators has been "engaged to deliver analysis in Hindi for each game." The league also associated with "popular NBA and basketball influencers," such as Bollywood actor V.J. Rannvijay Singh and stand-up comedian Gursimran Khamba, to be "guest commentators on a regular basis" (ECONOMIC TIMES, 10/16).