The Nine Network has signed a new deal with National Basketball League, which will see it become the free-to-air home of Basketball in this country.
The deal was announced by NBL Executive Director Larry Kestelman at the season launch party last night. Full broadcast arrangements will be revealed later today, but this website understands Nine will simulcast one Sunday afternoon game live per week on the GEM High Definition channel.
The NBL will today also unveil details of a new streaming subscription service that will allow fans to watch any game on computers or mobile devices.
The new deal comes after last months announcement that Fox Sports has secured a five-year deal that will see the pay-tv channel broadcast all games of the NBL live in High Definition.
The Fox Sports deal will see NBL games telecast live in prime time at 7:30pm AEDT across Wednesday-Saturday evenings throughout the 19 week regular season. Fox Sports will also broadcast Sunday games and more than 12 double header games during the prime time evening slots between 5:30pm and 9:30pm across Wednesday – Saturday.
Commentators for Fox Sports coverage will include Anthony Hudson and Shane Heal.
The new deal is a great turn-around for a competition that just a few months ago had no broadcast partners and was facing considerable financial uncertainty. The NBL has had a chequered past on Australian television having regularly moved between broadcasters, with fans often forced to suffer with late-night delayed broadcasts or edited highlights. While this new arrangement is spruiked as a five-year deal, Fox Sports have included a clause in the contract that allows them to review the arrangement at the end of the 2015/16 season.
The new NBL season begins tomorrow night on Fox Sports when Adelaide plays the New Zealand Breakers at home.