Univision to produce weekly shows as part of new NBA deal
By John Ourand, Staff Writer
The NBA signed a multiyear deal with Univision as part of a partnership that the league hopes will help it attract more Hispanic fans.
The deal, expected to be announced this week, does not include live rights but instead has Univision producing two weekly, Spanish-language NBA shows, one for UniMas and one for Univision Deportes.
The media company also will relaunch and operate the NBA’s Spanish-language website, which will debut in September before next season. Univision has operated the NFL’s Spanish-language website for the past four years and started managing the MLS site this season, as its new media deal kicked in. To date, the NBA’s Spanish-language website has been a section off of NBA.com.
“We’re always going to look to expand our sports offerings beyond soccer,” said Eric Conrad, vice president of programming for Univision Deportes. “Soccer will always generate the highest value, but with a 24/7 sports channel, we are always looking to other sports.”
The deal marks an aggressive effort by the NBA to broaden its fan base, developing consistent Spanish-language programming with a new media partner. League executives say its internal data shows that Hispanics make up 18 percent of the NBA’s fan base. “We are always striving to find bigger and better ways to connect with our Hispanic fans,” said Aldo DiCuffa, the NBA’s senior vice president of programming, who worked on the deal with Conrad.
The league and network would not comment on how much or how long the deal is worth. Univision’s Conrad described it as a partnership, where the NBA and Univision sales teams are both in the market trying to sell it.
The deal allows Univision to have a presence at the NBA’s marquee events, including the playoffs, Finals and All-Star Game. Univision will be allowed to produce live from those events.
The first sign of the new deal comes Thursday when Univision Deportes debuts a weekly show that is described as a Spanish-language version of “NBA Action.”
Univision also will produce a one-hour show called “ZonaNBA” every week during the playoffs on UniMas. The show will launch during the playoffs and run through the Finals.
Source: Sports Business