Basketball Africa League unveils Sahara Conference Rosters and global broadcast distribution for 2023 season
DAKAR (Senegal) - The Basketball Africa League (BAL) today announced the rosters of the six teams that will compete in the league's Sahara Conference group phase from March 11 to 21 at the Dakar Arena in Senegal, as well as the league's global broadcast distribution for the 2023 BAL season.
The six teams – defending BAL champion US Monastir (Tunisia), AS Douanes (Senegal), Abidjan Basketball Club (Côte d'Ivoire), Kwara Falcons (Nigeria), Rwanda Energy Group (Rwanda) and Stade Malien (Mali) – collectively feature 78 players from 13 countries across Africa, Europe and the U.S., including eight players with NBA G League experience, 18 former NCAA Division I players, six NBA Academy prospects and 11 former Basketball Without Borders (BWB) campers.
The 2023 BAL season will reach fans in 214 countries and territories in 17 languages through free-to-air and paid TV broadcast partnerships with the African Union of Broadcasting, American Forces Network (AFN), Canal+, ESPN (sub-Saharan Africa), NBA TV, Tencent, TV5 Monde, Visionary TV and Voice of America (VOA), and live streaming on the NBA App, NBA.com and BAL.NBA.com.
In the season opener, AS Douanes will take on Abidjan Basketball Club on Canal+, ESPN, NBA TV, TV5 Monde, VOA and select free-to-air channels across the continent. The game will also livestream on the NBA App, NBA.com and BAL.NBA.com. Fans can purchase tickets to the 15 Sahara Conference games at BAL.NBA.com.
FIBA's digital platform Courtside 1891 will stream BAL highlights, content and "BAL Action".
Each BAL team will have up to 13 players, at least eight of whom are citizens of their respective team's home country and up to four of whom are from other countries, with no more than two players per team from outside of Africa.
Eleven former Basketball Without Borders Africa campers competing in the Sahara Conference group phase
The 12 BAL teams have once again been divided into two conferences – the Sahara Conference and the Nile Conference. Each conference will play a 15-game group phase during which each team will face the five other teams in its conference once. The Nile Conference group phase will take place at Hassan Mostafa Indoor Sports Complex in Cairo, Egypt, from April 26 to May 6. The top four teams from each conference will qualify for the BAL Playoffs, which will feature a single-elimination tournament and Finals at BK Arena in Rwanda from May 21 to 27.
Below are the complete details about the 2023 BAL season's global broadcast distribution:
• Select free-to-air channels across Africa will air BAL games throughout the season with the support of the African Union of Broadcasting.
• AFN, which is distributed to U.S. military bases and ships at sea in 166 countries and territories, will air select games live and on delay throughout the season.
• For the third consecutive season, Canal+ and ESPN will air every BAL game across Francophone and Anglophone countries and territories in sub-Saharan Africa. Canal+ will also produce and distribute original programming about the league, including an eight-episode magazine show "BAL Action".
• NBA TV will broadcast all 38 games live or on delay in the U.S. and around the world.
• BAL games and programming will be available in China on Tencent Sports.
• TV5 Monde will air select BAL games in Sub-Saharan Africa.
• VOA will broadcast all 38 games across its extensive radio network in Africa, including select games in English, French, Portuguese, Kinyarwanda, and Wolof. VOA and the BAL will collaborate on additional programming, including weekly podcasts from Dakar, Cairo and Kigali that will air across VOA and BAL online platforms.
• Visionary TV will air all 38 games on its streaming platform “Vision View TV” in select African countries.
• For the third consecutive season, every BAL game will livestream on the NBA App, NBA.com and BAL.NBA.com.
• Courtside 1891 will stream BAL highlights, content and "BAL Action".
Rosters for the six Nile Conference teams will be announced at a later date and are subject to change.