How free-to-air NBL will help grow local basketball numbers
BASKETBALL: A new deal that will put the National Basketball League on free-to-air television for the next three years could boost local participation numbers.
That is the verdict of Hervey Bay Basketball Association president Glenn Jordan, in the wake of the NBL's new deal with Channel Nine.
Channel Nine will show two live games per week on 9GO!, with 3pm games on Saturday and Sunday, will cover digital rights, and there is talk of a new weekly NBL show. The NBL is also in talks with Fox Sports to show all games live.
9GO! will launch its new deal as the competition's most talked-about signing, former NBA champion Andrew Bogut, in action for the Sydney Kings against Adelaide 76ers.
Bogut, 33, was Milwaukee Bucks' first-round draft pick in 2005, where he stayed until 2012, when he was traded to Golden State Warriors.
His four-year stint at the Warriors, the home of "splash brothers” Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, delivered the Melbourne-born centre a NBA championship ring. He was part of the Golden State squad that beat Cleveland Cavaliers in six games in 2015.
An injury ended his hope of back-to-back titles in 2016, as the Warriors lost in seven. Bogut's two-year deal with Sydney Kings was announced in April, and he has already sparked more interest in Australia's national competition.
His impending season in the NBL, which starts on October 11, will be the first in years to be available on free-to-air, and local basketball associations could benefit.
Jordan looked to cricket's popularity as a possible future for basketball.
"It's what people see on TV, and you see people out and about copying what they see,” Jordan said. "When cricket is on the TV you see kids out with cricket bats and balls. It could be the same for basketball. It's just that more people will be able to see it.”
Brisbane Bullets open the season against NZ Breakers.