NBL and Ten sign 3-year partnership to broadcast 2 live games each Sunday

ViacomCBS’s Network Ten and the Hungry Jack’s National Basketball League (NBL) have entered a three-year partnership that will see the NBL return to the free-to-air network.

The deal will see two games broadcast live each Sunday afternoon in a marquee time-slot during the NBL season, showcasing four hours of basketball action on 10 Peach and streamed live in HD on 10 Play, from 1pm.

Broadcast rights for the NBL had been with ESPN and SBS since July 2019 after Nine pulled out of a three year contract after only one year, and Fox Sports passed on the offer to share the rights with Nine.

The NBL recently extended its broadcast partnership with ESPN for a further three seasons as part of an expanded television rights package. The deal sees every game of the upcoming NBL seasons and finals live on ESPN via Foxtel and its sports streaming service Kayo. Foxtel will also be streaming two games from every round on Kayo Freebies.

According to Foxtel, TV audiences of NBL grew 72% during the past six seasons between 2014 and 2020. Foxtel Group chief executive officer, Patrick Delany, said Australian sports fans want to follow and watch the best in sport and there is no doubt audience interest in the NBL is at a tipping point.

The partnership will see the NBL return to Ten for the first time since the 2014/2015 season.

Adam Cush, director of sport production, Network Ten, said: “We are thrilled to welcome back the NBL to Network 10. We are looking forward to working closely with the NBL to take the sport to all Australians and broadcasting a fantastic season of the league, which also boasts several of the Australian Boomers Olympic bronze medallists.”

Hungry Jack’s NBL owner and executive chairman, Larry Kestelman, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Network Ten back into the NBL family. Network Ten played a major role in the NBL’s booming popularity in the 1990s and we are thrilled to have them back on board to help take our league to the next level.

“This season is shaping up as one of the best yet, notwithstanding the challenges ahead. It will be great to welcome back the numerous Australian Boomers Olympic bronze medallists returning to the NBL, while we also have new marquee signings and the inclusion of the Tasmania JackJumpers,” Kestelman said.

“We are excited to have Network Ten as part of the NBL family for the next three seasons which gives our fans a consistent free-to-air home of the NBL.”

“We have a long and rich history with the NBL and over the years have seen the players, coaches, clubs and national participation in the sport go from strength to strength. Our partnership with ESPN allows us to use the growing scale of our Foxtel and Kayo sports platform to significantly build audience engagement.

“With 2.4 million households now watching sport on Foxtel and streaming Kayo, the Foxtel Group provides the largest audience of sports fans in the country. As a key broadcast partner of ESPN in Australia, we are pleased to be bringing all NBL games of this world-class competition to fans live and on demand this season.”

ViacomCBS recently struck agreements with the Australian Professional League (APL) to broadcast Australia’s domestic football competitions, the A-League and W-League, across its free to air channels and also forthcoming streaming service Paramount+.

That agreement was swiftly followed by a deal with Football Australia to broadcast Australian national team matches, a clear signal of intent from Ten in its commitment to football, which largely sat behind Foxtel’s paywall in recent years.

Rod Prosser, chief sales officer told Mumbrella it was a great opportunity, and that being able to broadcast a range of football competitions across its various platforms gives Ten ViacomCBS significantly flexibility in terms of what it can offer advertisers.

The NBL last year extended its naming rights contract with Hungry Jack’s for a further three years.


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