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SBS, ESPN secure domestic rights to Australian basketball

Australia’s National Basketball League has signed two-year domestic rights deals with public-service broadcaster SBS and sports broadcaster ESPN.

The agreements, which start from the 2019-20 season, will see the entire 2019-20 season made available for free-to-air, which marks a near doubling in the amount of free-to-air matches from last season.

During the upcoming season, 67 matches will be aired on the SBS Viceland channel, with all 126 fixtures to be available live and free on the SBS On Demand streaming platform.

ESPN’s NBL coverage will include 59 games during the 2019-20 season, including all games after 7:30pm AEDT. Most of SBS Viceland’s games will air at 5:30pm on Saturday and 3pm and 5pm on Sunday.

As part of the agreement, all finals games will be simulcast on SBS Viceland and ESPN.

NBL chief executive Larry Kestelman said the deal with SBS and ESPN represents a “huge leap forward” for the coverage of the league in its home market.

Domestic rights to the NBL were previously held by pay-television broadcaster Fox Sports and commercial broadcaster Nine.

From August 16, the International Basketball Series will also be made exclusively available in Australia on SBS Viceland and SBS On Demand. The series will be contested by Australia, Canada, New Zealand and USA.