The NBL has shaken up its broadcast package, shifting live coverage to SBS and ESPN for at least the next two years.
ESPN’s involvement ends the NBL’s four-year partnership with Fox Sports, while SBS Viceland and SBS On Demand will replace the Nine Network as the free-to-air provider.
Under the agreement, every game will be streamed live on SBS on Demand, while SBS Viceland will broadcast 67 games live and free in high definition.
August’s pre-World Cup series between the Boomers, USA and Canada will also be broadcast on SBS Viceland and SBS on Demand.
ESPN – home of the NBA, WNBA and NCAA – will show 59 games, including all games that tip off at 7.30pm, 8pm and 9.30pm (Sydney time).
“The agreement means the number of games broadcast on free-to-air television will almost double,” NBL owner Larry Kestelman said.
“We are delighted to partner with ESPN, the home of the NBA in Australia, bringing more global credibility to the NBL as we attract bigger stars to what is now considered one of the best leagues in the world outside of the NBA.”
The quality and reputation of the NBL has grown significantly in recent years under Kestelman, highlighted by Andrew Bogut’s deal with the Sydney Kings and the high-profile signings of NBA hopefuls LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton this year.
The season tips off on October 3 when South East Melbourne Phoenix make their league debut against Victorian rivals Melbourne United.