TNT Latin America and the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced today that they have reached agreement to extend their partnership in Latin America into the next century.
The two-year expanded agreement will include a comprehensive schedule of game telecasts, "NBA All-Star Saturday" festivities and NBA Jam, the NBA's weekly youth oriented lifestyle magazine show. TNT Latin America will also team up with the NBA to grow the game and the partnership by supporting the NBA's efforts to increase grassroots basketball participation throughout the region and increasing awareness through a number of interactive consumer contests.
During the 1998-99 NBA season, TNT Latin America will air a total of 33 games, including eight NBA Playoff games and the "NBA All-Star Saturday" event. Beginning November 4, 1998, games will be telecast to the region every Wednesday night at 22:00 hs. and starting January 11, 1999, games will be telecast on Monday nights at 22:00 hs. (all times Buenos Aires). TNT's coverage of the 1999 NBA Playoffs will begin in late April following the conclusion of the NBA regular season.
"With the continued increase in popularity of the NBA in Latin America and our overall commitment to our viewers throughout the region, we are pleased to continue our partnership with the NBA for two more years," said Charlotte Leonard, senior vice president and general manager of TNT and Cartoon Network Latin America. "With telecasts in three languages, TNT will share the contagious 'basketball fever' with its viewers in their respective languages."
"The NBA is enjoying phenomenal growth across Latin America," said Rob Levine, vice president and managing director, NBA Latin America. "Our fans expect the best in television coverage and TNT Latin America provides a unique platform to bring the excitement and passion of the NBA to the region."
In addition to action-packed games, TNT Latin America will also air NBA Jam on Friday nights throughout the season. A production of NBA Entertainment, this hip half-hour show features player profiles and a behind-the-scenes look into the NBA in an upbeat style that includes a weekly music video cut to the hottest NBA highlights.
"The mixture of exciting basketball with choice, contemporary music complements our movie environment," says Rick Perez, vice president of programming for TNT Latin America. "Viewers will beattracted to this show that complements our hip programming line-up we have on Friday nights."
To serve the diverse language needs of the region, TNT Latin America will provide NBA coverage in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Plans for the English-language feed include the announcing team of play-by-play announcer Dick Stockton and analyst Hubie Brown. In Spanish, Jessi Losada will serve as play-by-play announcer while John Sutcliffe, a Latin American sportscasting personality, joins him as analyst. Portuguese-speaking viewers will be listening to Tulio Reis, in the play-by-play and Brazil's well-known ex-basketball player, Fabio Malavazzi Victoria, as analyst.
In the United States, TNT Latin America's sister networks, TNT and TBS, currently televise NBA games as part of the ongoing 15-year relationship between the NBA and Turner Sports.
TNT Latin America, the first US entertainment cable network to launch in the region, celebrates its seventh anniversary in 1998. Over the years, the network has continually complemented its line-up of MGM films from the Turner Entertainment Company film library with award-winning original productions and major Hollywood theatricals. Seen in more than 8.1 million homes throughout the Latin American/Caribbean region, TNT Latin America is available with a choice of audio feed in Spanish, Portuguese or English.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.