The Australian National Basketball League, the country’s top-tier basketball league, has renegotiated its rights deal with commercial broadcaster the Ten Network in the wake of a fan backlash.
Fans were angered when Ten switched to delayed coverage of the league’s matches this season, instead of the live coverage it had shown the previous season, and moved the coverage to a later time slot.
In the first year of their original deal, 2010-11, Ten broadcast two games per week, with most of the matches shown live in primetime evening slots. In the second season, 2011-12, Ten broadcast three games per week on a delayed basis, in a later slot, after the league refused to accept a proposal from the broadcaster to show one live game per week on Sunday afternoons.
The league and Ten have negotiated a new three-year deal, from 2012-13 to 2014-15, which replaces the final three years of their original five-year deal, from 2010-11 to 2014-15. Under the new deal, during the regular season Ten will show one live match each Friday night on its main channel and one live match on Sunday afternoons on its digital channel One HD. The end-of-season finals will be shown across both channels. Ten also has the rights to show delayed coverage of the New Zealand Breakers team’s home games.
The league has retained the rights to matches not shown by Ten. It is understood to have entered preliminary discussions for a deal for these rights with pay-television operator Fox Sports.