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Martí Makes NBA Finals Available for Cuba

Radio Martí's Garcia-Perez says basketball is popular on the island

As the Miami Heat faces the San Antonio Spurs for the second game of the NBA finals tonight, at its home arena, Radio Martí (1180 kHz) sets up for Day 2 of its first year broadcasting the NBA finals to Cuba.

Basketball is “a very popular topic on the island,” Radio Martí Director Carlos Garcia-Perez told Radio World, adding that the station already broadcasts Major League baseball to Cuba. “We want to give our audience a quality program of quality sports.”

Coverage of the NBA is not offered anywhere else in Cuba. Garcia-Perez arrived with Radio Martí two and a half years ago, at which point he said, “We started negotiations with the NBA. It takes a while to get it done, and we have been broadcasting the playoffs for awhile now, but this is the first time that the finals are going to be broadcast to the island.”

The fact that Miami, a thriving center of Cubans, Cuban-Americans and Cuban culture in the United States, is in the playoffs, Garcia-Perez said, adds an extra exciting element to the inaugural undertaking this year.

“We use the video from the NBA and they’ve been kind enough to let us be present there,” he said. Victor Gonzalez and Juan Pendas Jr. will be doing the live play-by-play.

This article has been amended from when it was first posted.