British Basketball to Reach New Heights
21st September 2006, Milton Keynes – British Basketball aims to become the fourth biggest sport in the UK behind football, rugby and cricket.
Over the next ten years, the sport will enjoy increased exposure through the live, prime time broadcast of 40 British Basketball League (BBL) games each year via MKTV. In line with the government campaign to increase accessibility of basketball in schools and across the country this partnership will enable this aspiration to become a reality providing a major boost to the sport.
Paul Blake, Chairman of the BBL said, “This partnership with MKTV is a great opportunity for the sport. There is a lot of young basketball talent in this country which we would like to develop at all levels. Increased coverage of the game on MKTV should dramatically raise its popularity and allow us to retain future star players in this country.”
Commenting on the partnership, Jawad Siddiqui, CEO MKTV said, “Basketball is one of Europe’s fastest growing sports. MKTV’s collaboration with the BBL will create the exposure the sport’s thriving grass roots fan base deserves.
Accessibility is key and working with government agencies and the BBL, combined with MKTV’s coverage over the next decade will be vital to its future success.”
Basketball has the backing of the Minister for Sport Richard Caborn who said, "Basketball is a modern, vibrant sport that has enormous potential to attract and engage with young people”.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and the Department for Health all have programmes which promote engagement and participation in sport and a healthy lifestyle. The BBL’s National Community Development Programme, Hoops for Health, is a prime vehicle for delivering these targets and is intended to be rolled out across 50% of schools nationwide over the next three years. The aim is to engage with four million children and secure 750,000 participants per annum.
MKTV will also contribute £2.5m to fund BBL development posts and to help drive the development of the sport MKTV is seeking a headline sponsor. This sponsor will play a major role in the National Community Development Programme, both financially, but more importantly by participating in activities from schools, youth and amateur sides through to elite professional clubs.
MKTV, a national broadcaster set for launch early in 2007, has signed a ten-year partnership agreement with the British Basketball League (BBL). The deal will provide MKTV with exclusive broadcast and sponsorship marketing rights and is set to dramatically raise the profile and popularity of the sport on a national scale in the lead up to the 2012 London Olympics.
MKTV fought off tough competition from established broadcasters to secure the contract. Over the ten years, MKTV will promote the sport through its television production and broadcast businesses. Basketball coverage will sit at the heart of its prime time TV schedule, whilst being made available to other channels and other interactive platforms such as the Internet, text messaging and video mobile.
MKTV’s first channel is a General Entertainment channel and will be supported by websites and Internet Protocol Television operations. MKTV will appear on the Sky satellite platform from Q1 of 2007, with its broadband services going live in Q4 2006.