Great news awaits basketball fans this year - the NBA and WNBA will be coming to free to air, courtesy of SBS.
It was announced on Monday morning, that SBS will broadcast two live, regular season NBA games per week in HD on SBS VICELAND and streamed live via SBS On Demand. These games will also be available on demand via SBS On Demand.
SBS will also be broadcasting one live WNBA game per week on SBS VICELAND and SBS On Demand throughout the WNBA regular season, and a selection of games from the first three rounds of the WNBA playoffs.
“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,” SBS Managing Director, James Taylor said. “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.”
NBA Asia Head of Global Content and Media Distribution, Ramez Sheikh said: “We are excited to partner with SBS to bring NBA and WNBA games and programming to a nationwide audience on free-to-air television.”
“These partnerships show that fans in Australia have a growing demand for basketball content and beginning next season, they will enjoy outstanding NBA and WNBA coverage on SBS across broadcast and digital.”
Update: The Pick and Roll has confirmed with SBS that games broadcasted will be different from the ones broadcasted on ESPN, and that the schedule should be released "soon".
It's unclear how long the agreement will be in place for - SBS's announcement had it termed as "multiyear".
Regardless, this announcement takes SBS one step further towards being the go-to channel for local basketball fans. It follows in the wake of SBS's partnership with the NBL, where complimentary access to the entire NBL 2019/20 season will be available via SBS VICELAND, and SBS On Demand.