“We are Not Bothered by NBA’s Partnership with YouTube to Stream Live Games NBA for SubSaharan Africa”- Kwese Sports

Ejike Kanife

Recently, We reported that the National Basketball Association (NBA) and YouTube have reached an agreed a partnership deal to stream basketball games in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the agreement, two NBA games will be shown live every week on the new channel.

Apart from live NBA games, the new channel would also broadcast documentaries, features and other original contents. It would also broadcast conference finals.


However, Kwesé Sports, NBA games sole broadcast right owners
Subsaharan Africa has indicated that the new arrangement will not affect its space in any way. Our conversation with a representative of the company showed that the company has shrugged off possible conflict arising from the new deal.

According to its Head of Public Relations and Communications in Nigeria, Efe Obiomah, NBA’s partnership with YouTube does not infringe on Kwesé’s broadcasting rights. Her words:

Kwesé holds non-exclusive rights for FTA (Free to Air) broadcasting, while the above mentioned partnership grants digital streaming rights to YouTube. We hold separate broadcasting rights for different viewing platforms.”

Efe Obiomah, Head of PR and Communications, Kwesé
Many players of African descent ply their trade in the NBA (Image: Nigeria Basketball)

While this is elucidating, there remains a worry that the NBA/YouTube Channel would provide competition for Kwese since they both target the same market even though their models are quite different.

Thus, one might be tempted to wonder how this would affect Kwese’s viewership, subscription and ultimately their revenue.


But Miss Obiomah reveals that Kwesé isn’t bothered as it continues to broadcast NBA programming on Africa’s largest and only pan-African FTA channel, Kwesé Free Sports. She also indicated that Kwese is enjoying large viewership across many African markets.

“The channel has never relied on a subscription service, we continue to make full use of the same revenue generating opportunities historically available to us,” she says. “The change of terms in our contract with the NBA, and their digital streaming deal with YouTube have no impact on our revenue model.”

Since bursting into the scene in December, 2015, Kwesé Sports has quickly risen to become one of the more popular sports broadcasters in Africa. From the English Premier League (EPL) and NBA to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Cricket, Kwesé Sports is quickly building a reputation as an all round sports broadcaster.

And as far as the NBA is concerned, the Econet-owned sports channel has no plans of letting go anytime soon.

“Kwesé still holds broadcasting rights for the NBA. We continue to provide unprecedented free-to-air viewing to the prestigious basketball league games across the continent,” Miss Obiomah says.

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