SBS signs multi-year agreement to air NBA and WNBA

SBS will be the Australian free-to-air partner for the 2019/20 National Basketball Association (NBA) season, airing two live, regular-season NBA games per week in HD on multi-channel SBS Viceland and streaming platform SBS On Demand.

NBA games will also be available on-demand on the platform, and additional content will feature on SBS’ sport website. The agreement is for two seasons – 2019/20 and 2020/21 of the NBA, and 2020 and 2021 of the WNBA.

SBS will also air one live Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) game per week, beginning in the 2020 season, on SBS Viceland and On Demand, and a selection of games from the first three rounds of the WNBA Playoffs.

SBS’ deal doesn’t include the NBA playoffs or finals 

“Premium international sports continue to be a focus of SBS’s offering and we are thrilled to partner with the NBA and the WNBA to bring live coverage back to Australians for free,” said SBS managing director, James Taylor.

“The NBA and the WNBA are among the world’s most diverse leagues and basketball is an increasingly popular sport. Building on our recently announced deal with the NBL, these partnerships with the NBA and the WNBA make SBS the exclusive free-to-air home of basketball in Australia and are a great opportunity to bring new audiences, particularly younger viewers, to SBS Viceland and SBS On Demand.”

The agreement doesn’t cover the NBA playoffs or finals, which will continue to appear on subscription TV channel ESPN.

NBA hasn’t appeared on free-to-air TV since 2011 when Network Ten’s One HD dropped the rights. The new agreement for SBS follows the broadcaster securing the rights to the local National Basketball League (NBL) after Nine walked away from the deal.

“We are excited to partner with SBS to bring NBA and WNBA games and programming to a nationwide audience on free-to-air television,” said Ramez Sheikh, NBA Asia head of global content and media distribution.

“These partnerships show that fans in Australia have a growing demand for basketball content and beginning next season they will enjoy outstanding NBA and WNBA coverage on SBS across broadcast and digital.”


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