The Sal’s National Basketball League (Sal’s NBL) is pleased to unveil the full schedule for the 2023 season, which tips off on April 6 when the Franklin Bulls play host to the Taylor Hawke’s Bay Hawks.
An exciting change for the upcoming season will see the free-to-air game on Prime TV each week move to Sunday evening at 6pm, giving fans a basketball fix to end the weekend.
The first Prime game of the season will feature the 2022 table-topping Taranaki Steelformers Airs and the Wheeler Motor Company Canterbury Rams from Cowles Stadium in Christchurch on April 9.
Sky Sports Head of Commercial and league commentator Justin Nelson says viewership records for the Sal’s NBL were broken in 2022 and new heights are expected in 2023.
“Sky Sport is looking forward to showing every minute of the 2023 Sal’s NBL season live. The viewership in 2022 reached record levels and given how competitive the league is we know the fans and viewers will be back in even bigger numbers next season,” said Nelson.
“We are also pleased to showcase every Sunday night clash live on Prime TV. Across New Zealand, basketball is such a big family sport and some of the best family time available each week is early evening on a Sunday. It’s a great time to sit around the television together and watch elite Kiwi hoops.
“And I’m pleased to confirm every game will also be available globally via FIBA, and across the United States via a new multi-year agreement with ESPN. We can’t wait for tip-off!”
Evening games will now have a new tip-off time of 7pm, moving forward from the previous 7:30pm tip-off time in previous seasons. Tipping-off 30 minutes earlier will accommodate fans of all ages, as we aim to continue improving our fan experience on game day and beyond.
Leagues General Manager Huw Beynon says fans were the ones in mind when changing the tip-off time.
“Moving to a 7pm tip-off will make it more family friendly for fans of all ages and we’re excited to see the positive results that this change will bring for all 10 teams, not only on gameday at the venue but also for those that watch on Sky Sport.”
“We’re all about improving the fan experience and making games more accessible for fans around the country and abroad,” said Beynon.
You can catch your first glimpse of the defending champion Night ‘n Day Otago Nuggets on April 9 against the Property Brokers Manawatu Jets in Dunedin, and they’ll square off against the Auckland Tuatara in a Grand Final rematch on May 4 at Eventfinda Stadium.
There will be 15 regular season rounds, followed by the Final 6 from July 20-23.
With the 2023 Sal’s NBL season concluding in July, it’ll offer the perfect lead-in to the 2023 FIBA World Cup which begins at the end of August. Many prospective Tall Blacks will be looking to use the 2023 season to impress head coach Pero Cameron, which will create fun storylines to follow and thrilling action on the court.
“It’s going to be a huge year for a number of reasons, but I think we’re going to see elevated play across the board because it’s a world cup year and players want to prove themselves,” said Beynon.
“The Sal’s NBL provides the perfect exposure and preparation for players eyeing the 2023 world cup.”
You can find the full 2023 Sal’s NBL schedule here: http://nznbl.link/8t9sb
More info on the Sal’s NBL can be found below: