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Ten Sports acquires Pro Basketball League’s broadcasting rights for five seasons

MUMBAI: Sports broadcaster Ten Sports Network has partnered United Basketball Alliance (UBA) to broadcast five seasons of India’s first Professional Basketball League (PBL) on its network.

Currently in its second season, the PBL matches will be broadcast live on Ten Action and Ten HD at 4:30 and 7 pm respectively. The grand opening for the second season of the UBA was held in Pune and broadcast live on Ten Sports Network channels. The league will span over a month, kicking off in Pune and then moving to Hyderabad for the playoffs and the semi-finals.

The league will culminate with a best-of-three-games final from 1 to 3 April at the Gachibowli stadium in Hyderabad.

Season 2 will have a minimum of 36 live matches with HD quality production. Broadcast veterans Paul Crane and Victor Howell will lead the broadcast coverage for Season 2 on Ten Sports. Season 1 of the league was played in Hyderabad in July and saw participation from India’s best basketball players.

Ten Sports CEO Rajesh SethiTen Sports Global CEO Rajesh Sethi said, “We are delighted to partner with UBA for India’s first Professional Basketball League. I am confident that UBA will change the face of Indian professional basketball forever. There is a lot of participation in basketball among younger audiences, and through the UBA, Ten Sports will offer the best of Indian basketball to our viewers. With increased opportunity to take up the sport professionally and with the training camps, we will see more talent coming through the ranks, which will enhance the quality of play. Ten Sports will offer the best of programming on UBA through live broadcasts, studio and wraparound shows and other educational content.”

The UBA Pro League sees participation from eight franchisees—Bengaluru Beast, Chennai Slam, Delhi Capitals, Haryana Gold, Hyderabad Sky, Mumbai Challengers, Pune Peshwas and Punjab Steelers. Chennai Slam was the winner of Season 1 defeating Pune Peshwas in the final. Nine top players from the first season were taken to the USA for a training camp where they trained among present and former NBA stars.

“The players were trained just as pro athletes train in the US, every day with very little time off. The first week they struggled, but in the second week, their strength and ability saw significant increase. We know with continued programmes, the players can reach elite levels,” said US Coaching senior manager Jody Basye.

A documentary titled ‘Inside the UBA’ on the rigorous training camp and the life of these to-be stars aired on Ten Sports Network channels. The UBA plans to make these training camps for the best players an annual affair and provide them the much-needed exposure to improve the standard of the game in India.

UBA Season 1 saw celebrities including Abhishek Bachchan and Evelyn Sharma attend matches while Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Telangana Sports Minister T Padma Rao were also special guests. UBA will continue working towards involving celebrities in the game and the league.