The new two-year deal will see 67 games broadcast LIVE on SBS VICELAND, – an 86% increase in free-to-air coverage compared with the previous 2018-19 season on NINE multichannel 9GO.
- SBS VICELAND will be broadcasting up to four matches per round, airing predominantly at 5.30pm on Saturday and at 3pm and 5pm on Sunday.
- The remaining 59 games will be broadcast LIVE on ESPN. The pay-tv channel will hold exclusive broadcast rights to all games (excluding finals) occurring after 7.30pm.
- ESPN will broadcast the 7.30pm, 8.30pm and 9.30pm [AEST] games exclusively live to the big screen as well as the semi-finals and finals series across channels ESPN, ESPN2 and WatchESPN.
- ESPN’s NBL broadcast will be supported by extensive video, analysis, preview, reaction and feature content on espn.com.au
- SBS Viceland will also show all seven pre-FIBA World Cup games in Australia including the two Boomers versus US games at Marvel Stadium, while ESPN is expected to again show the upcoming NBL versus NBA pre-season games in the US.
- International Basketball Series will be exclusively available to watch within Australia on SBS Viceland and can be streamed live and free via SBS On Demand.
- All finals will be simulcast LIVE on SBS VICELAND and ESPN. The full broadcast schedule for the 2019-2020 NBL Season can be viewed here.
- The new arrangement will also provide fans access to the entire 126 game 2019-2020 NBL season, starting on October 3 via streaming platform SBS On-Demand.
The new deal will see the NBL absorb production costs and no longer receive a rights fee for its content. Instead the NBL will receive a share of advertising from SBS and ESPN. Netball Australia has shown revenue-sharing can work for smaller sports, with its Super Netball broadcast deal with Nine and Telstra resulting in a 70 per cent rise in overall revenue.
ESPN’s deal makes the NBL the first major Australian sport aired live in prime time on its two Australian channels,
The move comes after previous rights holder Foxtel made the decision not to continue with the sport, the pay-tv giant is under pressure to reduce “non-marquee sporting content” after the business posted a $417 million loss last year. Fox Sports had broadcast the NBL competition for the last four seasons.
- NBL Media Release
- ESPN to televise 59 prime time NBL games
- NEW DEAL | SBS becomes home of Australian Basketball with dramatic increase in Free-To-AIr Broadcasts
- NBL nets free to air boost with SBS to join ESPN as TV partners
- NBL signs new deal with SBS and ESPN – all games of 2019/20 season on free-to-air television
- NBL season on a roll in joint TV rights deal