Nine has announced it will become an official Australian broadcast partner for the National Basketball League (NBL), starting from 11 October when the new season kicks off.
The new three-year sport rights deal will be a revenue sharing arrangement with an agreement to air two games per round on Nine multichannel 9GO!.
The deal also covers digital rights and will include a live simulcast of the games aired on 9GO!, along with catch-up rights to all NBL games throughout the season following their conclusion, regardless of the network the game has aired on.
Nine and the NBL will work together to commercialise the advertising inventory and broadcast monetisation of all matches across the regular season and finals series.
After losing the cricket rights to Seven and Foxtel, Nine was among the favourites to pick up broadcast rights for the NBL, which will be shared with Fox Sports.
Tom Malone, director of sport at Nine, said: “We are thrilled to have basketball back on Nine and part of the Wide World of Sports family.
“Larry and the team at NBL have done a terrific job re-building basketball in Australia and securing some big name for the coming season. It will be great to see Andrew Bogut make his debut for the Sydney Kings.
“Moreover, this signals yet another innovation in sports rights, where the value of Nine’s spectrum has been recognised in lieu of a rights fee and production costs, while Nine has secured exclusive rights to commercialise the broadcast and sponsorship opportunities within and around the game-day production for distribution on Nine, Fox Sports and NBL.
“We have also structured a commercial partnership beyond the broadcast, to build a business relationship between the NBL and Nine to achieve maximum return for both sporting body and broadcaster in the years ahead.”
Larry Kestelman, owner and executive director of the NBL, said: “This is a very exciting announcement for the NBL and Australian basketball.
“To have a major free-to-air commercial partner in Nine will help take the NBL to a new level and confirm our status as the best league in the world outside of the NBA.
“We are delighted that more fans than ever before will be able to watch live basketball on Nine’s free-to-air channels and enjoy what is a golden period for the game in Australia, including two huge games between the Boomers and Team USA next year.
“To be part of one of Australia’ leading media companies will take basketball to a bigger audience than ever before and we can’t wait for the season to start on October 11.”