With the 2019 Sal’s New Zealand National Basketball League (NZ NBL) set to tip off on Thursday with a first ever Australian team set to take part, The Pick and Roll can announce that it will be the offical livestreaming partner in Australia.
General Manager Justin Nelson was excited to announce the partnership that will see forty-five games streamed into Australia via The Pick and Roll throughout the 2019 season.
“We’re really pleased to be partnering with The Pick and Roll and bringing live action from Sal’s NBL to more basketball fans. I know viewers across Australia will enjoy what they see.”
In a major development for the league, Nelson also announced media partnerships with Sky and Prime TV that will see a game broadcast live every Thursday night in New Zealand, and a further deal with Stuff.co.nz that ensures all other games will be livestreamed via their site to a New Zealand audience.
With the Southern Huskies set to become the first Australian team to play in the NZ NBL’s 36th season, Managing Director Justin Hickey explained that the ability for Australian fans and not just Tasmanian supporters to watch his Huskies take on the best from New Zealand was a great outcome.
“With so many Australian NBL quality starting 5 players about to hit the court, and with the league going from strength to strength on and off the court, there is a real want from the Australian and NZ fans to get as much of the action as possible, and preferably live.
“The deal with The Pick and Roll can only be a good thing for the League and the Huskies we are certainly pumped that this quality basketball can now be accessed by an Australian audience. It’s an extra string to our bow, with all our sponsors and team partners it can only be a good thing, and as basketball people, more basketball is simply not enough.”
While the Southern Huskies do not make their debut for another week, Australian fans will be able to watch history be created when they make their debut against the Wellington Saints on Friday, 19 April. Wellington finished the 2018 season on top of the regular season standings, before going down to the Southland Sharks in the grand final. With last season’s league MVP Shea Ili returning to lead the Saints in 2019 and Perth Wildcats star Nick Kay joining him, the Huskies will have their work cut out for them in their season opener.
“The Southern Huskies are delighted to be the first team from Australia in the Sals NZ NBL and we feel that we have set the scene for a more professional league,” added Hickey. “The teams are full of talent and set to deliver an on and off court show equal to that of the NBL, and other high quality comps around the globe.
“Our entry and pathway into the league over the past 6 month has certainly sparked interest for other Australian teams entering from multiple states, and I can only foresee this league will go from strength to strength off the back of it.
“We have committed to five years, but with the interest shown from some pretty serious basketball people in other states to also enter the league, we now see the NZ NBL as a serious alternative professional basketball league in Australia. We personally know that five other cities looking at this league to introduce the highest quality basketball product on and off court, coupled with an excellent game night fan experience, at an annual budget that is sustainable. If this is eventuates, the commitment from the Huskies will extend well beyond 2024.
“As you may have seen over the past few months, there is an abundance of Australian NBL, American and European talent committed to the 2019 Sals NZ NBL season, and we would like to think that the Huskies entry has a lot to do with the emergence of the talent across the board joining the league.”
Having successfully turned around the on and off court fortunes of the Melbourne Boomers in the WNBL before moving across to New Zealand, Nelson shared similar views to that of Hickey.
“New Zealand’s national league is heading into season number thirty-eight and unlevel of talent continues to rise,” shared Nelson. “We expect to see some incredible action this season with many of the best local New Zealanders being joined by stars from Australia, America and elsewhere around the world.
“All up we’ll be showing forty-five games via The Pick and Roll and look forward to fans in Australia enjoying plenty of quality basketball from the NZ NBL.”
The first game to be streamed live via The Pick and Roll is the Friday clash between the Wellington Saints and Hawke’s Bay Hawks from 4:45pm AEST.
The full 2019 season fixture can be downloaded here. All games with a TV monitor icon next to them will be streamed live via The Pick and Roll to an Australian only audience.