The NBL’s global rise is set to reach more eyeballs after the league signed a groundbreaking broadcast and content deal with Foxtel and News Corp that is being trumpeted as the best in the competition’s history.
Every game of the NBL season and finals will be live on ESPN, broadcast on Foxtel and streamed on Kayo under the blockbuster three-year agreement also with ESPN.
The deal will help more people gain access to one of Australia’s fastest growing sports and one of world basketball’s best leagues.
The NBL’s surge in popularity, largely on the back of its respected connection with the NBA, has grown TV audiences a whopping 72 per cent over the last six seasons.
The landmark broadcast deal also involves a new media partnership with the Foxtel Group and News Corp to take the reach of the league to the next level, attracting new audiences and providing more content, game analysis, engagement, and general media coverage.
The NBL has become a legitimate breeding ground for NBA scouts to survey talent, as seen through the Next Stars program, a stepping stone to the world’s best league for many, including reigning NBA rookie of the year LaMelo Ball.
The program has also helped rising Australian point guard and projected top 10 pick Josh Giddey prepare for Friday’s NBA draft.
The NBL is also attracting some of the finest local talent home, headed up by NBA champion and Boomers veteran Matthew Dellavedova, who has signed a multi-year deal with Melbourne United.
Dellavedova’s signing comes on the back of fellow NBA champion Andrew Bogut’s historic Sydney Kings signing in 2018, which looks set to pave the way for more Australian NBA players to sign in the NBL.
Fellow Boomer Jock Landale is another example of local talent wanting to play in the Australian league.
Landale opted to join Melbourne United over returning to Europe where he had enjoyed significant success, but the big man’s decision was justified when he went on to win an NBL championship with United and grand final MVP honours.
United skipper Chris Goulding is also on the NBA’s radar after impressing scouts with his potent three-point shooting during Australia’s pre-Olympic Games in Las Vegas.
Australian basketball’s rise is being tipped to explode in the coming years with more current, former, and aspiring NBA players keen to play in the NBL or be involved as owners alongside the likes of Milwaukee Bucks champion and Team USA Olympic star Khris Middleton (Brisbane Bullets).
NBL owner Larry Kestelman said Foxtel Group’s coverage on Foxtel as well as Kayo Sports completed the best broadcast deal in NBL history.
“I want to thank ESPN and Foxtel Group for their continued support and for having the belief and confidence in us as a competition and organisation,” Kestelman said.
“With more than 1.1 million people playing basketball nationally each year, our sport is exploding in popularity, and we cannot wait to work together to attract and entertain a legion of new members, fans, and supporters and show them what our league has to offer.
“This media deal is a game changer in every sense and shows we are a league that continues to rise in stature, reputation and popularity.
NBA rookie of the year LaMelo Ball played with the Hawks in the NBL (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
“Our fans are at the heart of everything we do and there is something for everyone in this exciting new deal, and it serves as a huge vote of confidence in our clubs, players and the path we’re on together.”
News Corp Australasia chief executive and chairman Michael Miller welcomed the broadcast deal as a game changer for basketball.
“News Corp is proud to partner with ESPN and Foxtel to amplify the NBL to a large and growing enthusiastic Australian basketball audience,” Miller said.
“Our mastheads will provide fans with coverage, analysis and more access to coaches and players than ever before.
“Not only will we together establish basketball as a major summer sport that no one will want to miss, it will help ensure the league has a new generation of players and fans.”
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ESPN and the @NBL have extended their broadcast partnership for another three seasons.
All 140 NBL regular season games will be broadcast live, with the vast majority of matches exclusive to ESPN.
DETAILS ?: https://t.co/7YgcYFmR92#NBL22pic.twitter.com/zaN6Ou0Am8
Foxtel Group chief executive Patrick Delany said Australian sports fans wanted to follow and watch the best in sport, and there was no doubt audience interest in the NBL was at a tipping point.
“We have a long and rich history with the NBL and over the years we have seen the players, coaches, clubs and national participation in the sport go from strength to strength,” Delany said.
“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 the key broadcast partner of ESPN in Australia, we are pleased to be bringing all games of the world-class NBL competition to fans live and on demand this season.
“And to take reach of the NBL even further, we will be streaming two games from every round free as Kayo Freebies. With almost 90 per cent of Australian households with internet access, this will unlock even more opportunities to grow basketball’s reach in Australia.”
Every game of the new NBL season will be available on Foxtel and streamed on Kayo from October 2021.
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