“Year One” begins: The pros and cons of Fox Sports first NBL broadcast.

“Year One” begins: The pros and cons of Fox Sports first NBL broadcast.

What is the difference between the 2014/15 NBL coverage and the 2015/16 one?


If tonight’s episode was anything to go by, not a whole lot.


I don’t want to be one of those people who whine about things, but all in all, tonight’s game one coverage was marginally better than your average, uninspired Channel Ten coverage except for a few minor details.


The biggest detail that has changed wasn’t even on the TV screen. It was the NBL’s social media onslaught.


The NBL’s Twitter feed was running white-hot with minute by minute updates, thoughts, videos and shot charts. Someone at the NBL offices was earning their keep tonight!




In fact, @adelaide36ers was trending on Twitter during the game.


The first steps have been made to make the NBL a more interactive experience, and for this the league deserves applaud.




Also, the NBL could have done much worse than to have AFL commentator Anthony Hudson on board.


For Hudson’s part, there were no misused footy terms (calling the basket a ‘goal’; calling a pass a ‘kick) and it seemed that the man, who looks like an overgrown twelve-year-old, had done some research into the game and the league.


Full marks, Anthony Hudson.

Anthony Hudson in his Grade Thirty school photo

Anthony Hudson in his Grade Thirty school photo


But it seems much of the hype which has been attached to the NBL during the off season, was lost in action on screen tonight.


There were no appetisers in the form of pre-game highlights. There were no half time entertainment packages. Just two middle aged men, standing there, talking basketball.


This is dismaying given the girth of footage at the leagues disposal.


The NBL had just finished the greatest Pre-season Blitz in living memory, but none of this great footage made it onto the coverage.


Luckily enough for highlight enthusiasts there were a few to be salvaged from the game, and to the NBL’s credit, they had these posted on social media within moments.


Ducking into the lockers during half-time was also a promising detour from the (sub)standard. It is not as though the NBL had never done this before, they just never made a habit of it.


The graphic elements of the coverage, whilst improved, are still a work in progress. The shot clock and score would disappear and reappear, playing pick-a-boo with confused viewers, and the team line-up graphics have replaced rotating shoes with – wait for it – Nothing!


A photo of each player would have passed. However, I would have preferred moving holograms, personally.


In summary, some minor tweaks have been made to the NBL’s coverage. It is still early days, and surely there are some upgrades to come.


The NBL must consider, though, that it all comes down to their TV product. They can promote the hell out of it, but if the coverage is not exciting they are throwing money into a black hole.



We need more highlights, less idle jibba jabba, and can we get a Live Twitter feed on screen?

Just don’t let the guys at Q & A run the Twitter feed.




Jarrad HurleyAuthor: Jarrad Hurley (63 Posts)

Jarrad Hurley's professional basketball aspirations led him to the dizzying heights of the Adelaide social league circuit. After an epiphany that his hoop dreams would go unrealised, he put the ball down and picked up a pen. Jarrad lives vicariously through the successes of Australian basketball, is a mad 36ers fanatic, and might just cry if the Boomers ever medal.