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

NBA streaming on free to air TV in Australia

The 2019/20 NBA season is 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.

NBA Live Playoff Fixtures (Sydney time)

Date Event Time Channel
Wed, Oct 7Heat v Lakers (Game 4)LIVE: 12.00pmFoxtel / Kayo
Sat, Oct 10Lakers v Heat (Game 5)LIVE: 12.00pmFoxtel / Kayo
Mon, Oct 12Heat v Lakers (Game 6)LIVE: 10.30amFoxtel / Kayo
Wed, Oct 14Lakers v Heat (Game 7) LIVE: 12.00pmFoxtel / 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.

Watch NBA League Pass Free

If you’re a major fan of the NBA, and want to watch every minute of every game Stateside, then the NBA League Pass may just be your ideal solution. With the NBA League Pass, you can choose between annual or monthly subscriptions and gain instant access to live games and other NBA related content.

This means, for example, if you would like to watch only the Playoffs, Finals or the All-Star Weekend, you can pay $39.99/month and cancel any time after. You will also get every other game that takes place during this period live and on demand. An annual subscription, that’s every game across the course of the season, including All-Star and pre-season games, is available for $299.99/year.

NBA League Pass can be viewed on a wide range of devices, from PCs and Tablets to Games Consoles and Mobile Phones. You can stream NBA League Pass on up to five devices at once, meaning it’s great if you wish to share the subscription cost with other basketball-loving mates! Still not sure? Check out the NBA League Pass 7 Day Trial here.

  • Read our full NBA League Pass Review Here

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).

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