Channel Nine has opted out of its broadcast deal with the NBL, Australia’s National Basketball League, with every game of the season now set to be shown across both free-to-air broadcasters SBS and subscription network ESPN.
Previously, Nine had agreed to a deal which would see them broadcast two live NBL games per week for three seasons. However, the network showed just one season before opting out of the contract. As a result, fans of the biggest basketball league in the country will be forced to look elsewhere for their fix, but it won’t be to the detriment of the league coverage.
The new deal will see up to four matches per round on free to air – double that which Channel Nine had been showing – while all games which aren’t available on FTA will be accessible for those with access to subscription network ESPN. Both channels will simultaneously show every finals game.
How to Watch the NBL on SBS Free to Air
In total, SBS will broadcast 67 NBL games per season over the next two years, with coverage beginning this October on the broadcaster’s Viceland channel on weekend afternoons. Fans will have two ways to tune in to the SBS coverage – the first is to simply watch live via digital television, while the second, more flexible option is to watch through the SBS On Demand service.
SBS On Demand will enable those who can’t tune in to the live action an opportunity to catch up at a time which suits you, and with a range of eligible devices, it provides more ways to watch than the more traditional viewing methods. SBS On Demand is free of charge, and to access it all you need to do is head to the website or download the app, and create a free account. The catch-up service is available on the following devices:
|Android||Android 4.4 and above|
|Apple TV||4th Generation|
|iOS||4.4 and above|
|PCs and Macs||Google Chrome 55 and above, Firefox 52 and above, Safari 7 and above, IE11, Microsoft Edge 14 and above|
|Smart TVs||Hisense TV (2017 models and above), Sony TV (2013 models and above), Samsung and LG TVs (2012 models and above), Panasonic TVs (2011 models and above)|
How to Watch the NBL on ESPN
The remaining games (not shown on SBS), as well as each and every finals game, will be available to watch on subscription service ESPN. ESPN is available through a wide range of services, including Kayo Sports, Foxtel, Foxtel from Telstra and FetchTV.
Each of these methods of accessing ESPN has a different range of benefits. Kayo Sports, for example, is perhaps the best value way to access the entire NBL season and more, with all the sports
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What’s the best way to watch the NBL?
This new deal means that a significant portion of the next two seasons of the NBL, including every finals game, will be available free of charge for all Australian’s thanks to SBS. For the bigger fans of the national league out there, however, a subscription to ESPN will supplement the experience, enabling you to tune into each and every game of the NBL season both live and on-demand.