Media & Broadcast 3 min read

Sal’s NBL Leaps into the Digital Future with TikTok Broadcast Partnership


In a pioneering move poised to reshape sports broadcasting and fan engagement in New Zealand, the Sal’s National Basketball League (NBL) has announced a groundbreaking partnership with Sky Sport to broadcast the 2024 season’s Wednesday night games live on TikTok. This innovative initiative marks the first of its kind globally, underlining the league’s commitment to capturing the attention of a burgeoning young audience and solidifying basketball’s position as a premier entertainment sport in New Zealand.

A Global Stage on TikTok

Starting on March 27, this world-first collaboration will see a weekly game featured on Sky Sport’s TikTok platform throughout the season, allowing fans worldwide unprecedented access to live basketball action. The Wheeler Motor Company Canterbury Rams and NBS Nelson Giants are set to make history in the first broadcast, spotlighting the league’s vibrant competition and top-tier talent.

Maree Taylor, the General Manager of the Sal’s NBL, expressed enthusiasm about the initiative, highlighting TikTok’s prominence among younger demographics in Aotearoa. “TikTok is one of Aotearoa’s most popular social platforms, particularly with younger fans who are still developing their relationship with the sport of basketball,” Taylor noted. This move aims to meet fans where they are, simplifying access to high-level basketball and bolstering the league’s already impressive attendance growth over the past three seasons.

Expanding Reach and Engagement

Justin Nelson, heading Sky’s basketball business, emphasized basketball’s staggering popularity in New Zealand, especially among those under 35. “The move to broadcast games on Sky’s TikTok platform will help further extend our coverage to the younger demographic, which is exactly where we want to be with basketball,” Nelson said. He also highlighted this initiative’s enhanced commercial opportunities, enabling current and prospective partners to connect with a new, diverse audience in innovative ways.

Rated E for Entertainment

The Sal’s NBL, embracing its 2024 marketing catchcry – Rated E for Entertainment – promises a season of exhilarating matchups and engaging content. With the strategic use of TikTok, the league is set to deliver on this promise, offering fans a mix of live sports action, interactive content, and a closer look at their favourite teams and players.

Wade Shipard from TikTok expressed excitement about the collaboration, stating, “As a platform, we’re elevating sports engagement by enabling people to watch live on their mobile phone from Sky Sports NZ’s TikTok account.” This partnership signifies a step forward in digital sports broadcasting and reflects the evolving landscape of fan consumption patterns, where mobile and social media play pivotal roles.

A New Era for Sports Broadcasting

The Sal’s NBL’s venture into TikTok broadcasting clearly indicates the league’s innovative approach to engaging with fans and expanding its reach. By leveraging one of the most popular social media platforms globally, the NBL not only ensures that basketball remains at the forefront of the digital entertainment space in New Zealand but also sets a precedent for other leagues worldwide to follow.

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