The British Basketball League (BBL) has agreed a two-year media rights deal with pay-television broadcaster Sky, covering 30 BBL fixtures per season.
The contract will cover the BBL Trophy Final, BBL Cup final and BBL Playoffs, beginning with coverage of the Newcastle Eagles versus the London Lions on 3 December, along with the Sheffield Sharks’ home fixture against the Cheshire Phoenix. The double-header will be shown on Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports Main Event.
Sky Sports Managing Director Rob Webster commented: “We are delighted to welcome the BBL back to Sky Sports. We look forward to showcasing the best of basketball from across the country in what promises to be a busy but exciting period with the 2022 Commonwealth Games on the horizon.
“We hope an event of that magnitude on UK shores will enable what is a big participation sport to continue its growth. We at Sky Sports are thrilled to be able to support the sport.
“With continued coverage of the NBA and WNBA, the addition of the BBL makes Sky Sports the home of basketball. We can’t wait for the action to get under way on December 3 from Eagles Community Arena.”
Sky last carried the BBL during the 2012/13 season and the division has been aired on BBC and Premier Sports’ free-to-air channel FreeSports in the interim on-and-off.
BBC acquired the rights to the 2019/20 BBL finals but the campaign was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, meaning no playoff champion was crowned.
The BBL has made use of automated video production technology company Keemotion in the absence of a consistent broadcast partner, allowing supporters to stream matches on YouTube instead.
“It is fantastic to be teaming up again with Sky Sports to bring the excitement and action of the BBL to basketball fans at home,” added BBL Chairman Sir Rodney Walker. “We are going to see some excellent games this season as there are incredible British and international players at all 11 clubs.
“We look forward to working with Sky Sports and Buzz16 to showcase the best of British basketball over the next two years.”