The NBL has made strides in its television coverage, with a five-year deal being inked with Fox Sports in 2015 for every live game in HD, and a Channel 9 agreement for a weekly Sunday game. This was followed by expanded free-to-air coverage on ABC and SBS last year.
The milestone however, has been a complete return to free-to-air (FTA) television, something many NBL fans have hoped for. While it might not happen just yet, another step looks to be taken in this direction, very soon.
According to Matt Logue of The Daily Telegraph, NBL owner Larry Kestelman has confirmed that there is possibility of a further expanded FTA deal, with all five Australian television networks showing interest, and that a contract could be potentially signed within the next month or two. It was reported by The Financial Review’s John Stensholt in early April, that Andrew Demetriou and Ben Buckley had been tasked with the challenge of finding a television deal before season began.
“I think the potential of the NBL is limitless,” Kestelman said back then. “And we’re a private business that can be nimble and make decisions quickly. So we want TV to be a big part of that as well.”
Kestelman however, has affirmed that doing the right thing is a point of emphasis over potential earnings.
“I will do what is right for the sport,” Kestelman shared.
“Even if it is a better commercial deal for me, I still won’t do it if it doesn’t suit basketball. That is how the sport got itself into trouble in the first place.
“But I’m very confident that we will end up doing a deal with one of the more commercial free-to-air stations for next year.”
Details of the potential deal are unknown at this point, being described as a “landmark free-to-air commercial TV deal” by The Daily Telegraph, with Kestelman calling it an “expanded viewer platform”.