ESPN acquires the rights to the NBA in Africa

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo are just two stars fans will be able to watch on ESPN and ESPN2 in Africa from Feb. 14. Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images

Fans of basketball in Africa will be able to watch the NBA on ESPN and ESPN2 as of February 14, The Walt Disney Company announced on Friday, after acquiring the rights for the league across the continent.

Viewers of paid TV networks that host ESPN will be able to watch, in English across sub-Saharan Africa, the rest of the regular season, including ESPN's double-header on Fridays, the Playoffs, the Conference finals, and the Finals.

The NBA Draft in June is also included in the deal, which kicks off with the All Star Weekend on February 14-16, featuring Team LeBron and Team Giannis, the latter line-up sporting a distinctly African look.

"By securing these rights for Africa, ESPN is able to further its commitment to bringing premier content to audiences and growing the diversity of programming on the channels," says Evert van der Veer, Vice President of Media Networks for The Walt Disney Company Africa.

"We are thrilled to share in the passion and excitement of this league with fans across the continent."

The All-Star Weekend, which kicks off the rights deal, will show a variety of special events and performances, including NBA Rising Stars and State Farm All-Star Saturday Night.

The weekend culminates with the 69th NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, the annual exhibition game that sees the teams playing for a chance to donate U.S. $500,000 to charity.