TV slamdunks basketball

There are two stories today with bad news for basketball fans: one involving women’s basketball on the ABC and another putting some NBL broadcasts in jeopardy on FOX Sports.

Women’s Basketball just got downgraded by the ABC with reports that its 4pm Saturday timeslot will be replaced by another sport.

ABC’s head of sport and events, Iain Knight confirmed the changes to the basketball coverage, but said no decision had been made on which sport would get the 4pm timeslot.

There is speculation it will make way for women’s football following Football Federation Australia receiving a $32 million Federal Government grant in the last budget, some of which was to pay for the broadcast costs of a women’s league.

The Sydney Morning Herald says the basketball will lose its live coverage and have a 90-minute highlights package at the less favourable Saturday time of 2pm. ABC has also cut its coverage of women’s basketball from ABC2 which broadcast games live on Friday night.

Basketball Australia chief executive Scott Derwin said women’s basketball would come off what was expected to be a successful Olympics campaign with a dramatic reduction in what was being broadcast.

“This will have a dramatic effect and potentially be very, very costly in terms of the profile of the league and its ability to attract sponsors,” he said.

Meanwhile, over on FOX Sports the NBL has lost both the Sydney Kings and Brisbane Bullets to financial problems. A spokesman for Premier Media Group chief executive David Malone said the network was awaiting a new season schedule of matches before any final decision was made on broadcasting matches next season.

Source: smh.com.au, The Australian

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