The Sal’s NBL is going prime time in season 2022, literally.
With every game being broadcast live on Sky, hoops fans will also be treated to a game free to air on sister channel Prime every Saturday night at the prime time of 7:30pm.
Tipping off on Thursday, April 28 and featuring 10 teams spanning New Zealand, the season will feature 90 games played across 15 rounds ahead of the finals in Auckland at Eventfinda Stadium.
The Saturday night matches on Prime will be the first time the League has enjoyed live coverage on free to air television in more than two decades.
Basketball New Zealand Chief Executive Dillon Boucher believes the additional exposure is a “win for basketball” as the game continues its rapid surge in participation.
“Our partnership with Sky is vital to the growth of basketball and increased coverage on their free-to-air channel Prime, is another example of the collaborative relationship we have. We all want to see basketball available to as many people as possible, be it players, fans or viewers. And especially all the kids,” said Boucher.
“Prime’s coverage on Saturday nights will also help take the League to a wider group of businesses looking for a commercial partnership with a sport that connects deep into the community. We are experiencing great commercial growth right now as more companies invest in basketball, and this is another opportunity to push that.”
Jonny Errington, Sky and Prime’s Chief Content and Commercial Officer agrees.
“The broadcasting game has changed considerably. We don’t talk rights anymore, we talk ‘partnership’. It’s about how we put everything we want to achieve on the table and together we work out the best way to deliver that for the fans, the teams, and the game. Just like the players and managers making decisions in a heartbeat on court, we’re also moving quickly and creatively to take advantage of the momentum we’re building. Having more eyeballs on the action through Prime is going to speed up getting the results we all want to see.”
With the League’s landmark broadcast deal with ESPN in the United States also heading into a third year, along with a soon-to-be-launched new women’s national competition, League General Manager Huw Beynon says the Saturday night timeslot on Prime comes at the perfect time.
“We’re producing more than 300 hours of live basketball action this year, which is amazing, and to add free to air live coverage on Saturday nights is the icing on the cake for all basketball fans. Our partnership with Sky is producing fantastic results already as we work together to develop new and exciting ways to take our national competitions to more people.”
The Sal’s NBL 2022 season tips off on Thursday, April 28.