Australian basketball fans will be the big winners in the NBL’s new broadcast agreement with SBS, which will nearly double the number of games available live, free and in HD and at better timeslots, according to the broadcaster.
Under the two-year deal, fans will have access to the entire 2019-20 Hungry Jack’s NBL season for free, with 67 games broadcast on SBS VICELAND – an 86 per cent increase in free-to-air coverage compared to the 2018-19 season – and all 126 games available live and free on streaming platform SBS On Demand. Melbourne United and South East Melbourne Phoenix will tip-off the 2019-20 NBL season on October 3, 2019.
Additionally, from 16 August, the highly anticipated International Basketball Series will also be exclusively available to watch within Australia on SBS VICELAND and can be streamed live and free via SBS On Demand.
These seven pre-FIBA World Cup internationals, as delivered by TEG Live in partnership with Basketball Australia, feature games involving the Australian Boomers, Canada, New Zealand and USA Basketball, including two games between the Australian Boomers and the USA at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne in front of 100,000 fans.
SBS Managing Director, James Taylor, said: “SBS has a strong heritage of championing sports Australia’s diverse communities are passionate about, and we are thrilled to be partnering with the NBL to become the exclusive free-to-air home of Australian basketball, offering more free coverage than ever before, and in HD.
“With around one million Australians playing basketball, it’s one of the nation’s leading team sports for participation* and we look forward to bringing fans every memorable minute of one of the country’s fastest-growing leagues.”
NBL Owner and Executive Chairman, Larry Kestelman, said: “This broadcast agreement is a huge leap forward in the coverage of the NBL and basketball across Australia.
“It maintains our commitment to make the game available to more people to watch when and how they choose across different platforms and will continue to grow our audience across Australia.
“The agreement sees the number of games broadcast on free-to-air television almost double, making our national league accessible to more Australians, with SBS VICELAND becoming the new free-to-air home of the NBL along with more coverage available on SBS On Demand.”
Australia’s Nine Network confirmed an early termination of its agreement with the NBL. With the code’s partnership with Fox Sports coming to an end, the NBL had a unique opportunity to place more live games on free-to-air television, which Nine supported.
Nine’s Director of Sport Tom Malone said: “SBS is committing more broadcast hours than Nine is able to and we wanted the best for NBL and the growth of basketball in Australia.
“The 2nd half of 2019 is action packed on Wide World of Sports with all of the biggest sporting moments happening on Nine. The Netball World Cup, Women’s Ashes, Men’s Ashes, the NRL Grand Final, Fed Cup Final featuring Ash Barty, the President’s Cup Golf with Tiger Woods and the Summer of Tennis with the new ATP World Team Cup and Australian Open are all exclusive to Nine.”