NBA Returns to Free to Air after SBS Secures Aussie Broadcast Rights

NBA streaming on free to air TV in Australia

The new NBA season just became even more accessible, with free to air broadcaster SBS announcing a multiyear deal which will see two regular season games shown per week live and in high definition on its Viceland channel.

The games which are aired will also be shown on the network’s streaming platform, SBS On Demand, where they will be available to watch either live or on-demand. The SBS website will feature additional NBA content to supplement the broadcast. The deal comes alongside a partnership with the WNBA which will see one game per week aired on SBS in 2020 and 2021, and soon after SBS began a partnership with the NBL.

NBA returns to Free to Air with SBS deal

The deal will make SBS the stand-alone free to air broadcaster of the world’s biggest basketball league for the 2019/20 season. It represents the first time in eight years that the NBA will be available on free to air in Australia, after One HD relinquished the rights nearly eight years ago. Since then, the NBA had been available in Australia exclusively via ESPN – which is most commonly accessed through Foxtel and Kayo Sports – or the NBA League Pass, but this addition means the league will once again be accessible to a wider audience.

It is worth noting, however, that the quantity of NBA broadcasts on SBS will be relatively limited compared to other providers. For comparison, ESPN of Australia offers a far more extensive coverage and is available through either Foxtel, Foxtel from Telstra or Kayo Sports. ESPN Australia (Foxtel/Kayo) is set to show 190 regular season NBA games in 2019/20, including a massive nine games in the opening week. Other highlights include all five Christmas Day games (Boxing Day in Australia), as well as the NBA All Stars weekend which takes place February 15-17 in 2020. Kayo Sports is also offering a 14 day Free trial that has no lock-in, which would allow fans to enjoy a good chunk of the games before making a commitment.

** 2020 NBA Season Postponement Announced **

The NBA has announced that starting from March 12 the 2020 season will be suspended until further notice. This is due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, and concerns that the games and arenas may expose players and fans to this community health concern. The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus. If any significant new details about the NBA’s plans for the remainder of the 2020 season are made available, this notice will include them and the TV fixtures will be updated.

NBA Live TV Fixtures (Sydney time)

Date Event Time Channel
TBCKnicks @ RaptorsCancelled Foxtel / Kayo
TBC Cavs @ LakersCancelledFoxtel / Kayo
TBC Pistons @ ClippersCancelled Foxtel / Kayo
TBC Bucks @ WizardsCancelled Foxtel / Kayo
TBC Bulls @ KnicksCancelled Foxtel / Kayo
TBC Warriors @ SpursCancelled Foxtel / Kayo

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SBS Broadcasting Guide

Because details surrounding which games will be televised on SBS are being released monthly, we’ll be updating this page as information comes to light to ensure you can remain on top of any new developments. The games will, however, predominantly air in the mid-morning Sydney time.

While SBS is now the official NBA free to air TV provider in Australia and will offer two live matches per week, ESPN (Foxtel/Kayo) will televise 190 live NBA games during the 2019/20 season, including the All Stars weekend, the NBA Semi-Finals, Eastern and Western Conference Finals and the Championship Finals. This includes replays of the games you may have missed, and an opportunity to watch the NBA online with either Foxtel Now or Foxtel Now from Telstra. ESPN will also air a number of NBA-related shows featuring some of the game’s best analysts to supplement the broadcast, including Sportscenter, NBA Countdown and The Jump.

NBA Live Aussie TV: Thanksgiving (US) and Boxing Day

Due to licensing agreement the NBA coverage on SBS is limited to two matches per week. Alternatively, Foxtel and the Kayo Sports streaming service offer live broadcasts of 190 games throughout the season, including blockbuster match-ups on the US Thanksgiving holiday, as well as Christmas Day, (Boxing Day in Australia).