Sky Inks 5-Year Pact for NBL

Hard on the heels of last week’s Spark Sport deal for FIBA rights, Sky is claiming its latest NBL partnership “will deliver an unprecedented line-up of basketball for Kiwi hoops fans”.

Here’s the media release:

The future of basketball is here on Sky, with a ground-breaking deal inked today with Sal’s NBL

  • Ground-breaking 5-year agreement with Sal’s NBL to deliver more than 300 games per year of Kiwi basketball
  • New Zealand Basketball’s biggest ever partnership in its 41-year history including free-to-air
  • Sky Sport is partnering with every Sal’s NBL team in a unique first for basketball
  • A revamped women’s national league starts in 2022 with player payments equal to the men’s league
  • Includes the broadcast rights to all Tall Blacks and Sky Sport Tall Ferns non-FIBA games globally with a number of international series on home soil being planned each year
  • Together with the NBA and the Australian NBL (featuring the Sky Sport Breakers), this New Zealand NBL agreement gives Sky customers access to superb basketball 12 months of the year right across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Spearheaded by Justin Nelson, Sky’s new Head of Commercial and Events, the new partnership between Sky and Sal’s NBL is an absolute gamechanger for basketball in Aotearoa.  Having led the New Zealand NBL’s extraordinary rise in recent years, Justin has now worked with the Sky and Sal’s NBL teams to map out an exciting new strategy to take the fastest growing sport in New Zealand to the next level.

The new partnership will deliver an unprecedented line-up of basketball for Kiwi hoops fans and aims to really drive the success and appeal of the game.

Nelson says, “Sky will broadcast and stream 300 games each year of men’s and women’s basketball, right here in New Zealand. 100% this will grow the game, in participation and viewership.

What’s more, this sits alongside the Australian NBL (including the Sky Sport Breakers), the NBA, WNBA, and the NCAA thanks to our partnership with ESPN, and ongoing non-FIBA international competitions here in Aotearoa and across the world featuring the Sky Sport Tall Ferns and the Tall Blacks. In all, Sky has an incomparable line-up of basketball.

“It’s difficult to describe how important this is and what a difference this deal will make. One significant change is how the Sals’ NBL will now be able to revamp the women’s national league and ensure player payments are equal to the men’s league.

“It’s a watershed moment for women’s basketball. There are very few competitions in any code around the world where this is the case.

Nelson also says Sky is now in effect the power behind the Sal’s NBL competition.

“We’re partnering with every team, which means Auckland, Hawke’s Bay Hawks, Manawatu Jets, Taranaki Airs, Wellington Saints, Franklin Bulls, Nelson Giants, Canterbury Rams, Otago Nuggets and Southland Sharks, along with the five new women’s teams and all 20 of the League’s 3X3 teams.

“All will wear Sky Sport proudly on their singlets as a way to show how Sky has invested in their team and community.”

Sophie Moloney, Sky CEO says: “This is an exciting day for basketball in New Zealand, and for Sky. This partnership is much more than a rights deal; Sky is providing direct support to each of the teams in the Sal’s NBL, and we will be working actively and closely with them to help grow the game and create superb experiences for fans.

“I am personally particularly delighted that our support will enable the revamped women’s national league to start next year, with player payments equal to the men’s league.

“Our commitment at Sky is to connect our customers with the sport and entertainment they love, in ways that work for them.  This partnership, coupled with the other great basketball that we have on Sky (including the NBA, WNBA, NCAA and the Australian NBL featuring the Sky Sport Breakers), gives our customers a superb line-up of basketball right across the year.

“Partnership is about so much more than rights; it’s about working with the sport in creative ways at every level. It’s about delivering for the fans, players, supporters and New Zealanders who are at the heart of all our decision-making.

“While the commercial details of the arrangement are confidential, the difference with this partnership is that Sky will be actively working with Sal’s NBL to ensure the league’s long-term future and sustainability.  Justin and our team will be working closely with Dillon and his team to ensure we deliver creatively and commercially.

“We’re a broadcaster, a streamer, a sponsor, a cheerleader.  We create content for fans that wraps around the live sport we deliver, and we enable athletes, teams and organisations to focus on what they do best, while we tell their story and deliver their triumphs.”

The last word should go to Dillon Boucher, Basketball New Zealand Chief Executive: “As a former player and leader I see how important commercial partners are for growing the game. We’re excited about how this unique, long-term agreement with Sky will nurture men’s and women’s basketball here in Aotearoa and attract and excite junior players and fans.

“The visibility and support our players now have means they can showcase their skills week in, week out. They have a genuine pathway in the sport and fans know they have exciting, high-energy games from local heroes and international stars on screen wherever they are, whenever they want, thanks to Sky.”

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