An exclusive broadcast contract. That’s what burned the NBL last season when Network Ten refused to show any sort of proper coverage in Australia. So, what has the NBL just negotiated with Sky TV in New Zealand? A three year exclusive broadcast contract.
The NBL is guaranteed all Breakers games to be broadcast, which is good. We’ll also get access to other games, both through iSKY and television broadcasts. What we don’t get is access to nbl.tv. What we don’t get is guaranteed access to all NBL games. In fact, as far as we know given what’s been said so far, we don’t get access to all NBL games at all.
This is why Basketball Australia created nbl.tv. It gives NBL fans access to more of the content that they deserve. Well, it gives that to NBL fans in Australia. Seriously, when I saw nbl.tv, I was prepared to grab my credit card and pay for it right then and there. I know there are a bunch of basketball fans in New Zealand who would do the same thing. Not only is the NBL losing out financially through this, the fans lose out too.
Yes, we are getting the most comprehensive coverage we’ve ever had of the NBL in New Zealand, and that’s great. But we could be getting more, and I think New Zealand fans deserve more.
Oh, and I point out that the NBL’s press release said “The agreement also allows SKY to be able to continue to offer fans access to games online via the iSKY website and on mobile”. Yes, Sky can offer this to fans, but they’ll only offer it to the ones who are ready to pay big. There’s no Sky subscription you can get that only offers iSKY access. There’s no Sky subscription that only offers Sky Sports access. I want to be able to watch the NBL on iSKY without getting Sky TV. I can’t afford Sky TV. But hey, it’s just NZ NBL fans that are being screwed over here, not people who deserve a bit of respect from the NBL and their broadcast partners.