SBS brings National Basketball League back to free-to-air TV

The National Basketball League is continuing its revival with public broadcaster SBS bringing one game per round back to free TV.


Fox Sports threw a lifeline to the league two years ago after it was dropped by Network Ten following low ratings, and has seen steady if not stellar audiences for Australia’s premier basketball competition.

For SBS it adds to its portfolio of sports rights, which include one match each round from the English Premier League, the Tour de France, and for the next season at least, the A-League.


Shipp: SBS is looking forward to offering sports fans “something extra to look forward to this year”

SBS director of sport, Ken Shipp, said: “SBS is pleased to announce it will deliver the very best of men’s professional basketball to fans across the country this NBL season. We know sport has the ability to bring people from across Australia’s diverse communities together, and we’re proud to be building on our existing offering of premier Australian and international sport with the NBL.

“We’re also looking forward to broadcasting the national competition for the first time on SBS, and giving our passionate sport fans something extra to look forward to this year.”

Under the deal SBS will broadcast one match each Sunday, starting with the Melbourne United v Adelade 36ers clash on October 9.

NBL executive director, Larry Kestelman, said: “We are excited to have a national public broadcaster, SBS, on board with us for this season. It’s great a new demographic of fans who may not normally watch through either NBL TV or other broadcast partnerships are able to watch our great game.

“Our goal is to reach as many Australian basketball fans as possible through our coverage and showcase the quality of the NBL to Australian audiences. Having a free-to-air broadcaster that also loves and understands the business of televising sport is of huge importance to us as we continue to grow the sport.”

Basketball is one of the few sports not to be included on the government’s anti-siphoning list. Fox Sports will be hoping the free-to-air presence gives the sport a lift in terms of TV and live audiences.


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