ESPN Close Shop in Africa

We hope that the time that you guys have savoured all those moments sitting in front of the TV making fun of LeBron James’ hairline and ignoring your girls/spouses during the NBA season, because you’re about to have a lot more free time on your hands.

A few days ago DSTV sent email notifications to their subscribers announcing the cancelation of sports channel ESPN.

“MultiChoice would like to notify its DStv subscribers that it has received notification from ESPN that it intends to close the ESPN and ESPN Classic Television Channels in Africa on 31 July 2013. This appears to be a business decision by ESPN affecting all its channels in Africa, Europe and Middle East”.

Though we couldn’t care less about the hours of “professional” poker and “extreme fishing” that the channel is so adamant on showing us, everyone is in arms about what this means for the NBA, which is broadcasted (in limited volumes) through ESPN.

With basketball (cos let’s face it, it’s the only thing ESPN is good for) being the second fastest growing sport in the world and places like Nigeria and South Africa being among the fastest emerging economies on the globe, this abrupt decision comes as a bigger shock than that one time LL Cool J didn’t lick his lips for just under 17 seconds. Also, when one considers that the NBA has been in partnership with ESPN for the past decade or so to carry out various initiatives aimed at developing basketball talent in Africa, the absence of a consistent broadcaster is completely counterproductive to what is trying to be achieved.  SABC’s tardiness with broadcasting games has been a colossal disappointment and soon all the ballers will have no choice but to give up hope and pick up extreme kite flying as a sport instead (you laugh but people consider it a REAL sport).

Our only hope that is BSA (Basketball South Africa) and NBA Africa will step in at the eleventh hour and perhaps contract broadcasting rights to Supersport or any other channel that is not stuck in a time machine.

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