• (L-R) Chris Goulding, Bryce Cotton, Scott Machado and Casper Ware (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Want to brush up on your basketball knowledge before the 2020-21 NBL season? Check out our concise guide for all that is to come LIVE, FREE and in HD on SBS VICELAND and SBS On Demand from January 15.
SBS Sport

22 Dec 2020 - 2:50 PM  UPDATED 22 Dec 2020 - 2:50 PM

Every game of the upcoming 2020-21 NBL season will again be LIVE, FREE and in HD via SBS On Demand, with select games also live on SBS VICELAND.


  • The National Basketball League was founded in 1979 and is the premier basketball competition in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Nine teams will enter the 2020-21 season, eight of which were established in Australia.
  • Perth Wildcats are the most successful club in the competition, having won 10 championships.


  • Since the 2009-10 season, the regular season has spanned 28 games – 14 home, 14 away – and rewards the top four ranked teams (based on their win/loss record) with a finals berth.
  • The top two teams receive home-court advantage in a best-of-three semi-final series, where first place plays fourth and second place plays third.
  • The winner of each semi-final will then contest a best-of-five grand final series, with the highest remaining seed receiving home-court advantage.
  • In the 2020-21 season, the introduction of a 36-game mid-season NBL Cup will also contribute to each team’s regular season record.

Join Megan Hustwaite for TAB Courtside 1v1 on SBS
With the NBA and NBL seasons fast approaching, leading Australian basketball journalist Megan Hustwaite is helping fans get to know more about the personalities who shape the sport in this country as part of a new SBS series - TAB Courtside 1v1.
First ever NBL Cup to be played in Melbourne hub
The NBL announced it will stage its "biggest event ever" when all nine NBL teams travel to Melbourne in February to play in a hub that will both count towards the regular season and decide the winner of the inaugural NBL Cup.

Aim of the game

  • Teams will contest their games in accordance with FIBA rules.
  • Games take place over four 10-minute quarters, with five minutes of overtime allowed in the event of a tie at full-time.
  • A team is allowed 24 seconds to score a basket, but the shot clock will only span 14 seconds after an offensive rebound.
  • Points are scored in a variety of ways: one point coming courtesy of a free-throw, two during play inside the arc and three from any area beyond it.
  • A free-throw occurs usually when a player has been fouled in the process of shooting. If a player did not score their initial attempt, they will take two free-throws. However, if their initial attempt was successful, they will only have one attempt.
  • Players can make five fouls before being ejected from the game. Fouls cover a variety of scenarios and are associated with illegal play.
  • Fouls by each player are accumulated as a total for their team, with two free-throws awarded after the fourth team (non-shooting) foul of the quarter.

Breakers sign Danish guard Bach to complete roster
NZ Breakers have signed Denmark international Rasmus Bach on a two-year deal.
Young Australian star Landale signs with Melbourne United
Melbourne United have announced the much-anticipated signing of Jock Landale for the NBL21 Season.

Food for thought

  • The NBL operates on a salary cap, meaning that each team must form their playing squad without exceeding the league-approved budget.
  • Since 2014, teams have been able to sign one player as their marquee. A marquee’s salary is paid outside the cap and was introduced in a bid to attract more high-calibre players.
  • The maximum length of an NBL player’s contract is three years and, as of 2020, each team may sign no more than two imports.
  • In 2018, clubs were also granted access to the Next Stars Program, an initiative devised to provide young overseas players with a professional option immediately after secondary school. The program affords each team with one additional import spot.
  • The Wildcats are the defending champions, having beaten the Sydney Kings in the coronavirus-affected grand final series last season.

Best way to watch

  • Every game of the 2020-21 NBL season is LIVE, FREE and in HD via SBS On Demand - starting January 15 as well as select games LIVE on SBS VICELAND, with highlights, mini games, interviews, features and more available on the SBS Sport website and Basketball hub.

How to watch NBL LIVE on SBS
The 2020-21 NBL season commences on January 15, with a revised schedule due to COVID-19 meaning that Adelaide 36ers v Melbourne United will open the league's 43rd campaign.

  • Can't wait for the NBL? Catch multiple regular season NBA games per week LIVE, FREE and in HD on SBS VICELAND and SBS On Demand - starting this Sunday, December 27.

Five reasons to watch NBA LIVE on SBS
The NBA season is just around the corner and, while things will be a little bit different this time around, it’s a campaign which could prove to be one of the most enthralling yet.
How to watch NBA LIVE on SBS
The NBA is back for season 2020-21 and you can catch it on SBS with two live, regular season NBA games per week LIVE, FREE and HD on SBS VICELAND and streamed live via SBS On Demand - starting December 27.