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NBL and FOX SPORTS enter landmark deal

The National Basketball League and FOX SPORTS today announced a five-year partnership to broadcast all games of the NBL live in High Definition; to be reviewed at the end of the 2015/16 season. This is another significant step continuing the return of basketball to its rightful place as a major force in Australian sport. Executive Director of the National Basketball League Larry Kestelman said the broadcast rights deal is an indicator of the public’s confidence in the sport and its popularity. “We are excited to announce our partnership with FOX SPORTS and Foxtel. We are dedicated to making the NBL a best in breed, professional and commercial product that delivers the best entertainment on offer to the public over the summer, and today’s announcement is a huge step in that direction.” he said. “Fans love watching sport live - and being able to deliver basketball, produced to the high standards for which FOX SPORTS are renowned, live to our fans is of fundamental importance to being a premier summer-sport in Australia. “Basketball has the highest levels of participation of any sport played by Australian kids, and enormous popularity across all genders and cultures. The potential for our league to partner with other basketball leagues around the world, particularly in Asia, but also in the United States and across Europe, is of significant importance; it is what differentiates us from so many of the other front line sports in Australia and it opens up a number of growth opportunities. “We are already in direct communication with the NBA and well on the way to building bridges with both the Chinese and Philippines basketball leagues with a view to working closely with them to grow the game and capitalise on its popularity in our region.” FOX SPORTS CEO Patrick Delany said: “Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world and is booming in Australia due to the recent success of our home-grown NBA stars. “With more Aussie kids playing the sport than ever before and interest soaring, basketball is entering an exciting new era in Australia and we are thrilled to be partnering with the NBL at such a watershed moment. “Today’s announcement that FOX SPORTS will provide live coverage of every match on national television, in a first for the NBL, is a huge win for fans and will ensure the next generation of Australian stars can watch the best local players in action, every week,” Mr Delany said.
The deal will see NBL games telecast live in prime time at 7:30pm AEDT across Wednesday-Saturday evenings throughout the 19 week regular season. FOX SPORTS will also broadcast Sunday games and more than 12 double header games during the prime time evening slots between 5:30pm and 9:30pm across Wednesday – Saturday. Kestelman also added that the NBL has made provision for a weekly live game to be simulcast on a free to air network and the NBL is in high-level discussions with the commercial networks. FOX SPORTS and Foxtel will become key partners to support the growth of the NBL in Australia with significant promotional support to be delivered across all platforms. Broadcast arrangements for New Zealand are close to being finalised. The NBL has attracted significant momentum, as well as corporate interest. Just this week the NBL has announced major retailer Chemist Warehouse as a major sponsor and has a number of other announcements to follow. The NBL season will be launched at Melbourne’s Crown Palladium on the 5th of October with the first game being played on Wednesday 7 October when Adelaide play the New Zealand Breakers at home.
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