Boom times for Australian basketball after Fox Sports deal
AUSTRALIAN basketball has taken another step forward with Fox Sports securing exclusive rights to broadcast FIBA national team competitions featuring the Boomers and Opals.
In a significant boost for the surging popularity of basketball, Fox Sports have entered an unprecedented agreement with FIBA to telecast both men's and women's tournaments.
The deal is in place for the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China in 2019, including its qualifiers getting underway in November.
As part of the launch of FIBA's new competition system, the live coverage will also include the Boomers' home and away games and next year's FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup.
Fox Sports will also broadcast FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, the FIBA Asia Cup and FIBA Women's Asia Cup as well as the FIBA Continental Cups qualifiers.
Fox Sports CEO Patrick Delany couldn't be happier to team up with Australian Basketball in a peak period for the sport at all levels.
"Basketball in Australia is booming thanks to the success of Australia's NBA stars, and our homegrown competitions, the NBL and WNBL, which will both be broadcast live on Fox Sports," Delany said.
"The Boomers and Opals are enjoying unprecedented success, and both teams are shaping up to be genuine medal contenders at the upcoming World Cups.
"The next couple of years are crucial for our national teams, as they prepare to take on the world's best in a range of tournaments as part of FIBA's new competition system, and Fox Sports will be the only place to follow their progress live.
"This deal reaffirms Fox Sports' commitment to providing a platform for Australian athletes and exposure for one of Australia's most popular sports."
FIBA Secretary-general and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Patrick Baumann believes Fox Sports will provide a powerful platform for basketball.
"We are thrilled to team up with Fox Sports in bringing the very best of national team basketball to fans right across Australia," Baumann said.
"The close followers of the Boomers and Opals now know there is one place where they can watch and follow the games of their favourite players and teams."
The momentous Fox Sports and FIBA announcement comes as the Boomers travel to Lebanon to compete in the FIBA Asia Cup, which begins on Tuesday.
The competition will mark the start of the Boomers' journey to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China, with the results to determine the composition of the World Cup Qualifiers.
Fox Sports' exclusively live coverage kicks off in prime-time on Tuesday at 8.30pm (EST), with a showdown between Kazakhstan and New Zealand, before the Boomers line up for their opening clash against Japan at 11pm (EST).
Australia will face two more pool clashes against Hong Kong (Thursday) and Chinese Taipei (Saturday).