NBL fans are excited about the return of the premier basketball league in Australia, with the 43rd season set to tip off in January. The Perth Wildcats will enter as the reigning champions, but a number of teams have improved and will be looking to make a run for the final, including the league’s newest addition the South East Melbourne Phoenix.
The popularity of basketball is growing rapidly in Australia and the 2021 NBL season coverage is set to be more comprehensive than ever before, with ESPN and SBS now sharing the broadcasting rights. Don’t miss a minute of the action, find out how to watch games live at home or stream to a mobile device using the options in this NBL TV guide.
Where to Watch the 2021 NBL in Australia
Each and every game of the 2021 National Basketball League (NBL) season will be aired in Australia, with matches being televised across a couple of different platforms. A new broadcast deal beginning this season will see ESPN of Australia air every NBL game that starts after 7.30pm Sydney time, for a total of 59 LIVE games on the subscription network. Fortunately, there are several ways to access ESPN on Australia TV, including Foxtel, Foxtel from Telstra and the Kayo Sports streaming platform.
Watch the NBL on Free to Air
SBS Viceland will be a surprise free-to-air broadcaster of the NBL this season after Channel Nine fulfilled just one year of a three-year contract before backing out. SBS will be your home of Saturday and Sunday afternoon basketball, with up to four games shown per round on the Viceland network.
All 67 live games on free to air TV will also be available to watch via the SBS online streaming service, SBS On Demand. SBS On Demand will simulcast the 67 games on SBS Viceland, while also offering the 59 which are on ESPN on a delayed replay.
Watch the NBL Online with Foxtel
In addition to televising these 59 ESPN games live, Foxtel and Foxtel from Telstra will typically offer these same matches with NBL TV replays airing later that same day, as well as the option to watch the NBL live online using compatible mobile and internet connected devices via Foxtel Now. Foxtel Now users will need to have the Sports Pack, with the exact same service also available through Foxtel Now from Telstra, and often at a reduced monthly rate.
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Stream the NBL on Kayo Sports
Another choice for watching the NBL live in Australia would be to utilise the 14 day Kayo Sports free trial, which has no lock-in contract and is available across two devices if you’re looking to share. Because Kayo is affiliated with Fox Sports it will broadcast the same exact 59 live ESPN games as Foxtel, but without the extra equipment or hefty fees. Kayo offers live NBL streaming with eligible mobile devices and browsers, including select PC and Macs, iOS and Android phones and tablets, Apple and Telstra TV, Google Chromecast, as well as Safari, Firefox, Chrome and Microsoft Edge, with new apps and platforms arriving soon.
Kayo will also provide on demand replays of the games they televise, should you need to catch-up on that week’s action. Additionally, every game will be displayed in High Definition, giving you greater clarity, while the No Spoilers option allows fans to hide all outcomes, a very handy feature if you don’t want to know the results before you’ve had a chance to watch a key event On-Demand.
NBL 2021 Live TV Schedule (Sydney time)
|Wed, May 5||United v Wildcats||LIVE: 7.30pm||Foxtel / Kayo / SBS|
|Sat, May 8||Phoenix v United||LIVE: 5.30pm||SBS|
|Sat, May 8||Taipans v Bullets||LIVE: 8.00pm||Foxtel / Kayo / SBS|
|Sun, May 9||Kings v 36ers||LIVE: 3.00pm||SBS|
|Sun, May 9||Wildcats v Breakers||LIVE: 5.00pm||SBS|
TV fixtures shown as Sydney time, adjust for regional differences. Per broadcasting agreement all regular season games that take place at 7.30pm or later will be available live on Kayo Sports and Foxtel.
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How to Stream the NBL in Australia
Not everyone currently has, or wants to take on a Foxtel iQ4 or Telstra TV subscription. So with this consideration in mind, what other choices do you have when it comes to streaming the available NBL games? Let’s look at some of the most popular streaming options available on the Aussie market.
For years, Apple TV devices have been an ideal instant streaming solution that does it all. There are two models available – Apple TV HD handles video up to 1080p, while Apple TV 4K adds full support for 4K, HDR and Dolby Vision. Kayo Sports is great on Apple TV, with flawless 4-way Split View.
A hugely popular low-cost streaming solution, Google’s Chromecast got a make-over in 2020, and now comes in two very different flavours. The basic Chromecast is still available, but the newer Google TV version (which replaces the Ultra) adds a remote control and an on-screen interface.
Foxtel Now Box
Foxtel’s own streaming box is an Android TV device that brings the Foxtel Now experience front and centre in its user interface – making it a natural choice if your preferred way of streaming sports is via the live channels that Foxtel Now offers, with on-demand streaming and live free-to-air channels as well.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
This easy alternative comes in three flavours – a budget Lite model, the standard one, and a 4K version. All of them are simple “plug in and go” stick-shaped devices that work similarly to Google’s newest Chromecast, except these use Amazon’s custom user interface and support Alexa voice control.
Nvidia Shield TV
A powerful Android TV streaming device from one of the world’s leading PC graphics companies comes in the form of a small “tube” with connections at either end, along with a slim backlit remote control. It can easily deal with every streaming app under the sun, including Kayo and Foxtel.