NBA returns to Australian Free-To-Air TV after SBS signs new Broadcast Deal

Ben Simmons
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SBS has today announced a multiyear partnership that will see it become the Australian Free-To-Air home of NBA and WNBA.

Beginning with the 2019-20 NBA season, SBS will broadcast two live, regular-season NBA games per week in HD on its SBS VICELAND channel and its streaming platform SBS On Demand.

NBA games will also be available on-demand on SBS On Demand, and additional NBA content will be featured on SBS’s sport website.

SBS will also broadcast one live WNBA game per week beginning with the 2020 season on SBS VICELAND and SBS On Demand throughout the WNBA regular season and a selection of games from the first three rounds of the WNBA Playoffs.

Fourteen players from Australia were on NBA rosters during the 2018-19 season, including Deng Adel, Aron Baynes, Andrew Bogut, Jonah Bolden, Ryan Broekhoff, Mitch Creek, Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum, Isaac Humphries, Joe Ingles, Kyrie Irving, Thon Maker, Patty Mills and Ben Simmons.

The new NBA partnership comes at the same time as SBS is about to commence a two-year deal with Australia's NBL competition. The local agreement will see 67 NBL games broadcast LIVE on SBS VICELAND, – an 86% increase in free-to-air coverage compared with the previous 2018-19 season on NINE multichannel 9GO.

Announcing the deal, SBS Managing Director, James Taylor said;

"Premium international sports continue to be a focus of 'SBS's offering, and we are thrilled to partner with the NBA and the WNBA to bring live coverage back to Australians for free,"

"The NBA and the WNBA are among the 'world's most diverse leagues, and basketball is an increasingly popular sport. Building on our recently announced deal with the NBL, these partnerships with the NBA and the WNBA make SBS the exclusive free-to-air home of basketball in Australia and are a great opportunity to bring new audiences, particularly younger viewers, to SBS VICELAND and SBS On Demand." 

The 2019 WNBA season featured eight players from Australia on opening-night rosters, including: Rebecca Allen (New York Liberty), Liz Cambage (Las Vegas Aces), Kelsey Griffin (Minnesota Lynx), Ezi Magbegor (Seattle Storm), Leilani Mitchell (Phoenix Mercury), Alanna Smith (Phoenix Mercury), Steph Talbot (Phoenix Mercury) and Sami Whitcomb (Seattle Storm).