In absolutely massive news for sports fans across the land, SBS has this morning announced a deal that will see both the NBA and WNBA broadcast live on free-to-air TV beginning in just a few short months.
SBS bosses revealed a new multiyear partnership this morning that will bring arguably America’s largest professional sport to local TV screens, outside of any paywall, via digital multichannel SBS VICELAND.
Beginning with the 2019-2020 season, SBS will broadcast two NBA games per week live and in HD. That will be supported by one game of the WNBA season live per week, beginning in 2020, which also includes a handful of games from the first three weeks of the WNBA Playoffs.
Additionally, all games under the deal will be streamed live via SBS On Demand. They will also be available on demand via the network’s streaming service after the fact.
It’s not known what games exactly SBS will be airing on free-to-air at this stage, however the SBS deal follows on from ESPN Australia’s announcement of their 2019-2020 NBA broadcast schedule, which sports some 190 games over the course of the 2019-2020 season and includes the bulk of the season’s marquee, blockbuster matchups, as well as the entirety of the NBA Playoffs and Finals.
That schedule begins with the season tipoff on October 23rd, featuring the double-header of Toronto vs New Orleans and LA Lakers vs LA Clippers, and also sports the now-traditional full-day 5-game Boxing Day broadcast of the NBA’s Christmas schedule.
SBS Managing Director James Taylor stated that the NBA deal, in conjunction with SBS’s recently acquired NBL rights, makes the channel the home of free-to-air basketball in Australia.
“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.”
“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.”
Broadcast details for the NBA on SBS are expected to be confirmed over the coming weeks.Image: Getty Images / Mitchell Leff