ESPN to expand Oceania NBA broadcast coverage

ESPN will be bringing about an expanded partnership with the NBA, that will give fans in Australia and New Zealand more access to live games and programming than ever before.

According to a media release from the NBA today, more than 200 regular-season and playoff games will be broadcast by ESPN each year, starting from the 2016/17 NBA regular season.

ESPN previously offered two NBA games a week. Under the new broadcast agreement, there will be a minimum delivery of five live regular-season games each week, which spans the NBA regular season, All-Star Weekend and playoffs. Other events like the Summer League, USA Basketball exhibition games, and even studio shows like NBA Countdown (starring Sage Steele, Jalen Rose among others), NBA Tonight, and Rachel Nichols' The Jump will also be shown.

“NBA fans have asked for more games, and we are excited to be able to deliver our biggest package in ESPN ANZ history," ESPN Australia/New Zealand GM Haydn Arndt said. "There are eight Australian-born players in the NBA whose stories we will showcase as we follow these Aussies in action. The multimedia combination of our TV, digital and social platforms will give fans more access to the NBA than ever beginning next season.”

“Expanding our broadcast partnership with ESPN in Australia and New Zealand is part of our continued commitment to delivering live games, programming and localized content to our fans,” said NBA Asia Managing Director Scott Levy. “With this new agreement, our passionate fans will be able to enjoy more NBA content than ever before through ESPN and its digital platforms.”

It's encouraging to see the NBA working together with ESPN to deliver more NBA games to the ESPN AU/NZ subscriber base. Unlike NBA International League Pass subscribers, ESPN users previously had very limited access to games. This new agreement definitely allows fans to watch more of our Australians in the NBA.

The expanded coverage comes at a fortunate time, especially with upcoming draftees Ben Simmons, Thon Maker and Emmanuel Malou being potential entrants to the league in the season ahead.

The league currently features Australians in potential championship teams, including Matthew Dellavedova with the Finals-bound Cleveland Cavaliers and Andrew Bogut's Golden State Warriors, who might clinch a Finals berth in tomorrow's Game 7. Other Australian NBA athletes include Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs), Cameron Bairstow (Chicago Bulls), Aron Baynes (Detroit Pistons), along with Joe Ingles and Dante Exum (Utah Jazz).

ESPN's new NBA delivery agreement

  • Up to 188 regular-season games, up from 88 in 2015-16, including five Christmas Day games (Boxing Day in Australia)

  • Up to 53 playoff games, up from 45 games in 2015-16, including the entirety of the Eastern and Western Conference Finals and every game of the NBA Finals

  • NBA All-Star, including the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, State Farm All-Star Saturday Night and the NBA All-Star Game

  • 20 NBA Summer League games