SBS has announced a new 2 year deal with the National Basketball League.

SBS VICELAND will screen the entire 2019-20 NBL season, with 67 games broadcast in HD in what it describes as “better timeslots.”

The move is an 86% increase in free-to-air coverage compared to the 2018-19 season on Nine and also ends a FOX Sports broadcast deal. ESPN is understood to have Pay TV rights.

All 126 games available will stream Live at SBS On Demand, beginning with Melbourne United and South East Melbourne Phoenix on October 3, 2019.

Additionally, from 16 August, the International Basketball Series will also be exclusively available to watch within Australia on SBS VICELAND. These seven pre-FIBA World Cup internationals feature the Australian Boomers, Canada, New Zealand and USA Basketball, including two games between the Australian Boomers and the USA at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne in front of 100,000 fans.

SBS Managing Director, James Taylor, said: “SBS has a strong heritage of championing sports Australia’s diverse communities are passionate about, and we are thrilled to be partnering with the NBL to become the exclusive free-to-air home of Australian basketball, offering more free coverage than ever before, and in HD.

“With around one million Australians playing basketball, it’s one of the nation’s leading team sports for participation* and we look forward to bringing fans every memorable minute of one of the country’s fastest-growing leagues.”

NBL Owner and Executive Chairman, Larry Kestelman, said: “This broadcast agreement is a huge leap forward in the coverage of the NBL and basketball across Australia.

“It maintains our commitment to make the game available to more people to watch when and how they choose across different platforms and will continue to grow our audience across Australia.

“The agreement sees the number of games broadcast on free-to-air television almost double, making our national league accessible to more Australians, with SBS VICELAND becoming the new free-to-air home of the NBL along with more coverage available on SBS On Demand.”

Nine’s Director of Sport Tom Malone said: “SBS is committing more broadcast hours than Nine is able to and we wanted the best for NBL and the growth of basketball in Australia.

“The 2nd half of 2019 is action packed on Wide World of Sports with all of the biggest sporting moments happening on Nine. The Netball World Cup, Women’s Ashes, Men’s Ashes, the NRL Grand Final, Fed Cup Final featuring Ash Barty, the President’s Cup Golf with Tiger Woods and the Summer of Tennis with the new ATP World Team Cup and Australian Open are all exclusive to Nine.”


  1. Armchair Analyst

    I was surprised when i innitially read this. Nine had signed a three year deal with NBL, didnt havve to do much if anytjhing but promote the sport/league. I hope the NBL stop trying to attract commercial networks because they arer not interested. For the NBL to grow more prime time games must be on FTA not just day games. This deal is the best so far, all games available for free online via SBSonDemand and more games on FTA tv via SBS Viceland. The HD thing for me doesnt matter that fact that all games a Live does. I think the NBL needs tv stability.

  2. What a great outcome for NBL fans:
    1. All games in HD
    2. Day games on vice land and night games on ESPN
    3. All games streamed
    4. No channel 9

    Now all Sydney needs is another good defensive/rebounding big man or 2 and this should be a good season.

  3. Often, there was a wait as basketball league games from NBL and NBA were broadcast very late at night on television. It’s a bit different nowadays with streaming, though a commitment for better timeslots and to also keep up with broadcasting WNBL too would be good publicity for basketball.

    • It’s been a long time since NBA games have been broadcast at night. ESPN has been showing live NBA since the 90s in Australia and been on Foxtel since the early 2000’s. Fox Sports also used to show NBA live, years back. The NBL time slots are great now and have been for the past 4 years. Never been a regular watcher of he WNBL so not overly fussed about it like most of the population.

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