ESPN and the NBA have announced an expansion of their existing broadcast partnership in Australia and New Zealand that will deliver a record number of live NBA games and programming to fans.
Under the expanded agreement, ESPN will televise more than 200 regular-season and playoff games each year, including a minimum of five, live regular-season games each week, NBA All-Star, the NBA Playoffs and The Finals. ESPN will also televise the NBA Summer League, and NBA studio shows including NBA Countdown, NBA Tonight, and The Jump.
"The NBA is one of the world's most popular leagues, so we are thrilled to announce that ESPN's coverage of the 2016-17 season will be bigger and better than ever," Haydn Arndt, General Manager ESPN Australia/New Zealand, said.
"NBA fans have asked for more games, and we are excited to be able to deliver our biggest package in ESPN ANZ history. There are eight Australian-born players in the NBA whose stories we will showcase as we follow these Aussies in action. The multimedia combination of our TV, digital and social platforms will give fans more access to the NBA than ever beginning next season."
Under the expanded agreement, ESPN will televise:
• Up to 188 regular-season games (up from 88 in 2015-16) including five Boxing Day games back-to-back
• Up to 53 playoff games (up from 45 games in 2015-16) including the entirety of the Eastern and Western Conference Finals and every game of the NBA Finals
• NBA All-Star, including the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, State Farm All-Star Saturday Night and the NBA All-Star Game
• 20 NBA Summer League games
"Expanding our broadcast partnership with ESPN in Australia and New Zealand is part of our continued commitment to delivering live games, programming and localized content to our fans," said NBA Asia Managing Director Scott Levy.
"With this new agreement, our passionate fans will be able to enjoy more NBA content than ever before through ESPN and its digital platforms."
There were a record-tying eight Australians on 2015-16 opening night NBA rosters including Andrew Bogut, Matthew Dellavedova, Cameron Bairstow, Aron Baynes, Dante Exum, Joe Ingles and Patty Mills. New Zealand features one NBA player in Steven Adams.
ESPN's coverage of the NBA continues on Tuesday morning [AEST] with the series-deciding Game 7 from the Western Conference Finals between Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder.
The winner of that contest will then face Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, which will be televised live on Friday, June 3 at 11am [AEST].