The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Indian sports channel Sony Six have joined forces to launch a televised basketball festival called NBC Jam in September.
Three-on-three basketball and live music will feature at the free events, to be held in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai – with the latter city hosting the final on 29 September. The winning team will then compete with three NBA legends.
Sony Six, the NBA's broadcast partner in India, will create celebrity-rich TV content around each event, and reportedly broadcast three live games on its HD and SD channels, plus one on its NBA India website, each week. It will also feature an hour-long programme showcasing the National Finals in Mumbai.
"NBA Jam will engage both the passionate and casual fan with a mix of basketball and live entertainment," said Yannick Colaco, managing director, NBA India. "Sony Six is an ideal partner that is committed to developing basketball further in India, and we are excited to bring an authentic NBA experience to fans across India."
N P Singh, chief operating officer of Sony Six's parent company, Multi Screen Media, added: "NBA Jam is the rise of a new gameplay in the world of sports. It is an exciting platform that pushes the envelope of sports from a mere competition to a cultural extravaganza. We at Sony Six, along with NBA, are bringing this exceptional initiative to India for all sports aficionados.
"With a remarkable format, NBA Jam will not only boost basketball participation in the country, but also strengthen the footprint of sports and drive viewership for NBA programmes available exclusively on Sony Six."
Around 500 teams are expected to participate in the 3-on-3 contests this year compared with 400 last year. This edition will also include women's divisions for the first time.