Australian National Basketball League Restructures Deal with Network Ten

April 23, 2012

The Australian National Basketball League (ANBL) has positioned itself as an Australian leader in internet game broadcasts by revising its broadcast agreement with Network Ten.

The NBL will get a weekly, live game each Sunday afternoon on Ten and a delayed game at 9.30pm each Friday on Ten’s digital channel One. 

The deal will continue until the end of the 2014-15 season and supersedes the previous deal in which One showed three NBL games each weekend, all starting at 10.30pm or later.

New Zealand pay-TV network Sky Sport has a separate deal to broadcast all New Zealand Breakers home games.

Ten will retain the right to show Breakers home games on Australian free-to-air TV but the league is able to offer those games to other digital media including pay TV.

All other games each round are now available to any non-free-to-air broadcaster with the league opening talks with Fox Sports and reaching out to other IPTV (internet television), sports websites and content providers.

NBL commission chairman Justin Milne made it clear the league did not ”lose a cent” from the new deal with Ten.

He also said the NBL could provide live streaming of matches next season and was talking to a number of potential suitors.

With internet-capable televisions expected to expand rapidly in the next five years, Milne said the NBL, with indoor games and short running times, was a prime candidate for web broadcasters.

”There are a number of opportunities out there to get these games shot, coded and broadcast to the net,” he said. ”In the Czech Republic, there is a company webcasting professional ice hockey for about $3000-$5000 per game compared to $50,000 to $70,000 for TV games.”

NBL legend and Ten commentator Andrew Gaze said the live game and possible new broadcasters would help the league grow. ”The Sunday afternoon timeslot on national television is something we haven’t had for some time,” he said.

by Ismail Uddin