NBA agrees free-to-air rights deal in Australia with SBS

Australian public-service broadcaster SBS has secured a two-season deal for rights to show two live NBA games and one live Women’s NBA game per week.

The NBA deal covers regular season games in 2019-20 and 2020-21. The WNBA deal covers games from the regular season and the first three rounds of the playoffs in the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the games will be shown in high-definition on the SBS Viceland free-to-air television channel and also streamed on SBS’s website.

The NBA’s main broadcast partner in Australia is pay-television broadcaster ESPN. The Australian newspaper reports that ESPN has live rights for 188 regular-season games, the Eastern and Western Conference finals, the NBA finals and the All-Star competition in a deal running until 2025.

SBS’s managing director of sport, 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.”

In July, Australia’s domestic league, the National Basketball League, signed two-year domestic rights deals with SBS and ESPN which will see the entire 2019-20 season made available for free-to-air.

The 2019-20 NBA season begins on October 23.