Isaac
Last year

ABC article about NBL and A-League fortunes

The similarities between Australian football and Australian basketball are obviously far greater than just the shape of the ball and their vast international appeal.

Both are notionally cold weather sports operating national leagues in the summer to avoid Australia's footy-centric winter sports marketplace.

Both have enormous grassroots participation — football has 1.15 million active participants and basketball 595,000 according to Sport Australia's latest Ausplay survey.

Both are attracting encouraging crowds at the start of their new seasons: the NBL had a record first round total attendance of 48,820 while 40,000 turned up for Saturday's night's A-League Melbourne derby, with a similar crowd anticipated for the Sydney derby this weekend.

Both are blessed and cursed by enormous international profile, the reflected glow of the NBA and European football leagues also creating unflattering comparisons with the local product.

And — here is the rub — both the NBL and the A-League are struggling to convert their enormous participation and encouraging live audiences into the kind of TV viewing figures that will, inevitably, provide the funds needed to underpin their sustainability and growth.
Full story: A-League and NBL struggle for TV ratings despite good attendances as new seasons begin

Topic #44111 | Report this topic


Aussie  
Last year

Attendances at Melbourne United games are certainly not a problem.

Every game is sold out, according to Dwanye Russell

Reply #710312 | Report this post


YOLO  
Last year

LK is constantly spreiding over 1mill participants in Australia. I dont think that 595,000 number is accurate. If it is what the hell are BA doing.

Reply #710313 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Both sports are plagued by too much flopping

Reply #710315 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

The 595,000 figure is from a survey and I think the over 1 million number the NBL and BA put out there is from the database of basketball participants they are putting together.

Reply #710325 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Why do BA need the NBL to hold their hand re: gathering statistics. My word BA are hopeless.

Reply #710328 | Report this post


YOLO  
Last year

Roy Morgan 2018 says Basketball over 1 mill http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/7498-sports-participation-australia-december-2017-201802150615

Aus Play which is Australian Sports Commission official data say 595,000 https://www.ausleisure.com.au/news/new-ausplay-figures-show-football-leads-sport-participation-rates-in-austra/

Huge variance between the two data sets particularly for AFL

Reply #710330 | Report this post


Luke  
Last year

Years ago I had then BA CEO (? Unsure of official title) Larry Sengstock as a lecturer for a few weeks during uni classes in sports management. He posed the question to the class, 'what are some reasons the NBL isn't as popular etc in the 80’s/90’s.
I put my hand up and mentioned the following
- moving from winter to summer to avoid conflicting with footy instantly made the Nbl conflict with the NBA and Euroleague
- quality of imports went from end of bench/rotation nba guys that came here for good offseason pay check and quality league, think Chris Jent at north Melbourne after winning championship at Rockets, Adonis Jordan after Kansas, Mcaffrey from Duke/Vanderbilt to guys not good enough to be on those rosters or Europe, so your drawcard players instantly became lower quality

- best aussies were in tough choice of staying in Europe or playing in fledgling league. David Andersen good example. While in Winter numerous Aussie stars had shots at Europe in our off season, gaze, maher, Rillie etc

So yes moving to winter avoided clashing with AFL, but your product became inferior the second the season changed.

His response

‘Never thought of those things’

Reply #710341 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Luke he was an athlete and they're not that bright.

99.9% don't understand that NBL aligning itself to the global basketball calendar actually hit player movement, all they do is bleat over footy codes. The other point was having two seasons back to back (the last winter season followed by the first summer) which was crazy and burnt fans out.

Reply #710348 | Report this post


Food for thought  
Last year

It seems strange to me that they chose to show the Fox Sports ratings as opposed to the 9Go ratings, which stood around 65 thousand for both games last weekend according to my sources.

But I also wonder whether the ceiling for the NBL is much lower than Kestleman and his crew may be anticipating. There's been some talk of making NBL the second biggest sporting league in Australia. I think it's a fantastic ambition, but realistically, I'd say it's near enough to impossible. I think if the NBL rated as well as women's netball, big bash, A - league or any of those second-tier sports it would be a big win for the league.

Reply #710383 | Report this post


PeterJohn  
Last year

Not sure where the 595,000 figure comes from. The December 2017 AUSPLAY survey (i.e., same source) figures for basketball had 707,000 adults participating and 343,000 children. i.e., 1.05 million total.

I haven't got the 2018 results and don;t know if they've been published by Sport Australia. I doubt they've fallen.

Maybe the 595,000 is a subset playing club basketball sports or with some similar restriction/qualifier?

FWIW, the 2017 soccer numbers were 1.1 million adults and 663,000 children for a 1.77 million total.

Reply #710393 | Report this post


Haz  
Last year

Good to see the NBL featured in a comprehensive article with the A-league. The two leagues are very similar and have similar challenges. Been waiting a long time for such an obvious article to be written about (unfortunately its slightly on the negative side as it talks about struggling ratings)

Reply #710396 | Report this post


Curtley  
Last year

People forget the NBL could be a top 5 league in the world, maybe already is. Boomers could be 2nd best international team in a few yrs. The A League is probably not yet a top 30 league and is a long long way off ever being in the top 20 with Asian leagues getting better. Socceroos are way off cracking the top 20 in the world.

Reply #710403 | Report this post


Haz  
Last year

^ this. Yet the Socceroos get all the headlines, corporate sponsors, mainstream discussion. The Boomers only make the news if there's a brawl or something...

The A-league hasnt been able to capatalise on the socceroos status or big european leagues and is positioned lowly on a global scale. Whereas the NBL is forging close links to the NBA and is a bonafide top league globally. Yet soccer is still far more popular here as evidenced by crowds and ratings.

Reply #710405 | Report this post


J  
Last year

Soccer stadiums hold more people, you will likely get bigger crowds

Reply #710414 | Report this post


koberulz  
Last year

NBL games aren't exactly selling out. NZ, Illawarra, Sydney and Brisbane are half-full most weeks.

Reply #710415 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

NBL top 5. Bigger joke than First Ever

Reply #710416 | Report this post


AD  
Last year

Let's be honest though, you have to be some kind of tosser to use the phrase "Australian Football" to refer to Soccer.

Reply #710417 | Report this post


Food for thought  
Last year

How is calling the NBL a top 5 league in the world a joke? Name me more than 4 leagues in the world better? Or are you one of those people who think college counts and is second best because more NBA guys come from there than everywhere else? Or that thinks D League is actually a good standard of basketball and not just a bunch of ball hogs?

NBL might be top 5, and is certainly top 10, so stating it "could" be top 5 is hardly a joke.

As for comparing NBL to A League, it seems basketball fans are more discerning than football fans. I think with football, there are that many leagues that it's hard to say that a top league is so much better than the others, while the NBA is so concentrated with talent, that if your only motive is to see the best possible basketball, you don't really need to look outside of the NBA.

To me the draw of the NBL is that it is Australian. As someone who cares about Australian basketball, the Boomers, and the future of the game here, I care about the NBL. I also care that I can get to a game and see it in person where the standard and intensity will be high, will be played by guys who, some of which, skirt NBA level and Olympic level, and where guys will go on to develop and grow as basketballers. For people who don't care about such things I can see why they wouldn't even bother unless something breaks that ice for them.

I think the NBL is starting to break some ice though. Channel 9 is doing a good job cross promoting the league on its other shows and on its Facebook. NBL is being given a real chance on 9Go and the newspapers are starting to treat it like something viable. The NBL is being given all the help it needs to grow, but that good faith will need to be repaid in rising viewership.

Reply #710418 | Report this post


AD  
Last year

Back in the day, when the interweb was still in its commercial infancy, and there were only 4 channels on TV, NBL was in primetime. Friday night was sport night, AFL on 7, NRL, on 9, NBL on 10.

That pulled in the fans and got them hooked.

Thing is, I don't think there's an equivalent today.
Nothing has the same coverage, and people don't use anything in the same way.
Yes, people who already want to watch the NBL will find it wherever it is, but how do you hook new fans?
I honestly don't know the answer.

Reply #710419 | Report this post


Food for thought  
Last year

I think the NBL is doing all the right things to hook new fans. And all the channel 9 cross-promotion helps. In the end, though, you want to have viable online offerings and ways for fans to see the games on their own terms - which they're providing. And you want to have great partners and sponsors pushing your brand, which they have. The conditions are right for the fanbase to build. We just need to see to what extent it does over the course of the season. Given the improvement in the product on every level I think new onlookers will be pleasantly surprised when they do stumble across the NBL as it stands today.

Reply #710421 | Report this post


Luuuc  
Last year

To keep the fans happy the NBL even seems to be listening to fan feedback about commercials. That has to be a first ever.

Reply #710422 | Report this post


Food for thought  
Last year

The product looks better on TV as well, and I've been banging on about that for years. The production is better. The courts are better. They even upgraded Cairns so it doesn't look like such a shit hole and they've stopped playing at New Zealand's embarrassing second arena. They are definitely listening to the fans and learning and I can never remember a time where the NBL ever did that. Yes, First Ever!

Reply #710423 | Report this post


FSTOS  
Last year

Let's be honest though, you have to be some kind of tosser to use the phrase "Australian Football" to refer to Soccer.

Yes 100% correct. The word Australian was not needed. Football is enough as it refers to the world game.... You know the one that is played almost everywhere.

Adding the term Australian implies that it is a game played and seriously followed only in some states of one country. An almost insignificant sport in the scheme of things.

Reply #710424 | Report this post


koberulz  
Last year

What are the courts better than, exactly?

Reply #710425 | Report this post


Food for thought  
Last year

"What are the courts better than, exactly?"

Than they were before. Cleaner, crisper. Some clubs have had their rings re-done including Melbourne and Cairns. If you haven't noticed these things you haven't been paying attention.

Reply #710426 | Report this post


Food for thought  
Last year

At this point, the only stadium and court that looks shit in the league is Brisbane, but then again so does their team, coach, uniform, insert anything else here.

Reply #710427 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

"Let's be honest though, you have to be some kind of tosser to use the phrase "Australian Football" to refer to Soccer."

What? You are an absolute moron Dazz.

Reply #710428 | Report this post


koberulz  
Last year

"What are the courts better than, exactly?"

Than they were before. Cleaner, crisper. Some clubs have had their rings re-done including Melbourne and Cairns. If you haven't noticed these things you haven't been paying attention.
You said "courts", so I wasn't thinking about rims/backboards/etc. The courts themselves get worse every year. Different sponsors in each keyway, unpainted keyways, those stupid NBL logos in the no-charge arcs, and little to no room for individual team sponsorship or branding. Every team plays on an almost identical court now.

The clutter of the 90s was pretty bad, but they'd found a pretty happy medium the last few years where each floor had its own identity, even if most were sponsored rather than team branding, but only the four on-court sponsor placements were allowed outside of the keyways and centre circle.

It's just dull, and the empty keyways are just lazy.

At this point, the only stadium and court that looks shit in the league is Brisbane,
Brisbane's court looks exactly the same as everyone else's, except they actually get painted keyways, so they're the best in the league IMO. The worst one for mine is Perth, every other team has their colours on all four out-of-bounds areas and Perth could only manage one (and the one almost always invisible to the TV cameras at that).

Reply #710429 | Report this post


paul  
Last year

The idea that playing in winter would attract better quality imports is a myth. Those in top European competitions are locked in from September to May or June, they wouldn't be playing here. Not to mention the fact a lot of good imports are playing NBA Summer League, TBT or other comps/workouts in the US over their summer.

The imports we get are high class, and we would miss out on plenty of them if we shifted back to winter.

Reply #710445 | Report this post


Cram  
Last year

I think its fair to say the NBL is potentially a top 5 league in the world. I'd say it is just outside that, but you could certainly build a case that it is top 5. The main thing is though that there are huge gulfs between the clear 1st (NBA) and 2nd (Euroleague) and then another huge gap below that to the likes of Euro Cup, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Russia, France, Germany etc. I don't personally see the NBL in that group.

As far as comparisons to the world game. The fact that it is so clearly the world's biggest team sport means it ceiling is going to be higher than basketball. It can be argued basketball is the number 2 team sport in the world, but again, there is a chasm between the 2.

Even here, the NBL is touting its opening round of 48,000 people, and the A League managed 40,000 to one game.


Reply #710453 | Report this post


paul  
Last year

I would now have the NBL alongside the ACB as the next best outside the NBA and Euroleague. I don't think there is really much doubt it's in the top 5 now (I used to rank it in the 5-10 range because it lacked quality big men, but that has changed), and certainly NBL teams' performances against NBA teams have been every bit as good as Euroleague teams.

Reply #710456 | Report this post


Haz  
Last year

Of course the NBL will jump up and down if they break a single round attendance record, especially beating one going as far back as 1995. And of course the A-League will do the same when they attract 40000 to any of their games. If there is something to promote that makes them look good, they will.

For me though, a 40000 crowd in an a-league match is generally a one off, a unique match or in this case a Melbourne derby to open the season. It was always going to be a huge crowd. General A-league crowds are much smaller and stadiums are far more empty. The NBL may or may not get another 48000 in a round, so really its just the two sports touting recent achievements.

Its how consistent these leagues manage to do well in the long run that will get people's attention.

Reply #710468 | Report this post


Cram  
Last year

There's doubt. I can't see it being ahead of those other leagues I mentioned. Suggesting it is anywhere near par with the Spanish league is laughable.

Reply #710470 | Report this post


paul  
Last year

I've followed those leagues a long time, I don't personally see any way the NBL isn't comparable to the Spanish league now. Top NBL teams are now at a level where they can be competitive with most Euroleague clubs.

Reply #710480 | Report this post


AngusH  
Last year

I think size is the area the NBL clubs would struggle against Euroleague clubs.

Reply #710481 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

other than size and skill and salary and professionalism we are not far off Spain

Reply #710483 | Report this post


Cram  
Last year

Comparing an 8 team league in which half the teams are propped up at least in part by 1 guy and his mates, to an 18 team league where the talent is more spread but the league is far more stable, and still the top end is far more talented than Australian leagues. Yeah I still have plenty of doubts.

Reply #710484 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

We have plenty of size, but all those kids are based overseas.

Just the guys in Europe.

Humphries 7'0 c
Lual Acuil 7'0 c
Landale 6'11 c
Reath 6'11 c
Mathiang 6'10 c
Motum 6'10 pf
Maker 6'10 pf
Pinder 6'9 pf
Cooks 6'8 pf
Jois 6'8 pf
Adel 6'7 sf

Also plenty of big guards and sfs in college etc that are Nbl level players.

The league will continue he to get bigger in terms of size over the next few seasons.

Reply #710486 | Report this post


Watto  
Last year

It would be fair to say the NBL is the best basketball league in the southern hemisphere

Reply #710489 | Report this post


paul  
Last year

"Comparing an 8 team league in which half the teams are propped up at least in part by 1 guy and his mates, to an 18 team league where the talent is more spread but the league is far more stable."

I'm talking about playing standard, and the fact it is 8 teams is one of the reasons the NBL is such a high standard.

Reply #710494 | Report this post


Food for thought  
Last year

That;'s why I think when we go to 9 teams we need to increase import quotas.

Reply #710497 | Report this post


Food for thought  
Last year

Btw Vince Crivelli on SEN confirmed an average of 65 thousand on 9Go so far and says the league is pretty happy so far with ratings and expects them to continue to improve.

Reply #710498 | Report this post


Cram  
Last year

I get that the discussion is about playing standard and to that end I can see an argument for being top 5 (but still disagree).

But if you're going to start talking about the NBL as being some world class league, the governance, lack of stability, lack of diversity in ownership and overall lack of teams can't be left out of the conversation. It isn't the league that is strong, its one guy's cheque book.

Reply #710517 | Report this post


Luke  
Last year

Paul,
As of today I don't think we need to go back to winter, but the initial change made pre 2000 put the league and game back a long way as the things I pointed out were the case at that time.

We have started to turn the corner with imports , Ennis was probably the first one that comes to mind.

Although that list of bigs pointed out in a few previous posts shows us the type of Aussie players we miss out on seeing in the NBL

Reply #710522 | Report this post


Food for thought  
Last year

That we miss out seeing for now. I wouldn't mind betting that most of those guys find their way to the NBL sooner rather than later.

Reply #710523 | Report this post


paul  
Last year

Fair enough Luke, but I disagree. Playing April-November would still have us in competition with European competitions and exclude a lot of fringe NBA players who were wanting to impress over the US summer. Back in the 80s-early 90s there wasn't as much competition from Europe, but that was changing by the late 90s.

I don't think the change with imports around the turn of the century was to do with the switch to summer, but rather around the double whammy that was the increased amount of local talent as the result of the participation boom, and the Australian dollar dropping significantly against the USD.

So more of the salary cap than ever was going to locals, and what was left was delivering less bang for buck. It didn't have a huge impact at the time because we had a number of established quality imports, established quality locals, deeper crops of young talent coming through and a small number of teams from what the league had for its first 15 years or so.

So I think that 98-02 period was the highest standard of play the NBL had until the past few years, and certainly a big step up on the standard of the late 80s, early 90s when we just didn't have the depth of locals to make it a world class comp from top to bottom.

Reply #710528 | Report this post


KB3  
Last year

For mine , the biggest issue between the calibre of imports we saw in the 80's and 90's was the opening of other markets

China wasn't an option , Europe wasn't an option like it is today. That left few other places to play ball around the world. Plus the NBA hadn't expanded in team numbers or roster sizes, there was no D/ G League. That meant there were higher calibre fringe NBA guys looking for jobs than there are today.

The NBL was a bonafide option for Adrian Branch , Winston Crite etc etc to come to at the time. A guy like Andre LaFleur was even playing SEABL as an option as all NBL slots were taken.

Reply #710532 | Report this post


koberulz  
Last year

So more of the salary cap than ever was going to locals, and what was left was delivering less bang for buck.
Not to mention that when the local talent is that much better, even if you do get an import of the same quality as previous imports they're not going to stand out as much.

People who criticise the league because the imports no longer get superstar numbers and stand head and shoulders above everyone else are utterly missing the point.

Reply #710533 | Report this post


paul  
Last year

The funny thing is, when I did the numbers a couple of years ago, the NBL has had more players with NBA experience this millennium than in the 80s and 90s. I think the fact they stood out more back then, as KR mentioned, makes it easier to remember them as better players, when they were perhaps just better in comparison to what they were playing against.

Reply #710537 | Report this post


Food for thought  
Last year

Exactly. When you rewatch NBL games from the 80s and 90s you can see that most Aussiies, especially ones of the bench, wouldn't get a game in today's league. I think that is also true for the 00s right until recently. I think the NBL has very much followed the global trend of players seeming to get longer, quicker and more athletic as the decades roll on.

Reply #710545 | Report this post


Cram  
Last year

"most Aussiies, especially ones of the bench, wouldn't get a game in today's league"

Given that at its peak in the mid 90s there were 100+ Australians in the league and these days around half that, this is probably true.

Reply #710635 | Report this post


Food for thought  
Last year

Head of Nine Sports Tom Malone had this to say about the NBL -

"NBL back on new FTA home
The NBL has started quietly on Nine, with Malone noting it will take time to build the audience.

"The NBL gets to the 16-39 male audience, which is very hard for advertisers to get to. We are starting slowly with the NBL but we are quite confident about the growth of the audience.

“What [NBL boss] Larry Kestelman has done in terms of putting his own blood, sweat and tears into rebuilding basketball in Australia should be applauded. The sport is at a point where it is about to take off again. The NBL is selling out venues and the sponsorship model is quite mature. With the right FTA promotion, which hopefully we will give it over the next three years, I am optimistic about where the audience can get to."

Malone said there needs to be a process of educating the audience that the NBL is now available FTA on Nine. “The promos are up and running, but we only agreed to terms six months ago.”"


https://mediaweek.com.au/sports-week-nines-tom-malone-on-ao-move-nbl-on-fta/

Reply #710656 | Report this post


sixtiesrockstar  
Last year

I think was a mistake going to summer for basketball. In summer they are competing with everything (soccer, cricket, tennis, beach, xmas functions, end of year celebrations, holidays, hot weather, etc, etc.) In winter was only competing with AFL & Rugby but NBL has one clear marketing advantage. It is played indoors out of the rain in nice cosy stadiums.

Reply #710688 | Report this post


sixtiesrockstar  
Last year

It is hard to compare nbl players from 80-90's to the players of today. Today's players would be terrible if they had to do what previous generations used to do. Can you imagine current players working minimum 40 hour a week job while trying to play semi professionally. They wouldn't have any time to send tweets.

Reply #710690 | Report this post


AD  
Last year

"The word Australian was not needed. Football is enough as it refers to the world game.... You know the one that is played almost everywhere. "

If they use "Football" I at least stop and think.
Saying "Australian Football" clearly confuses it with "Australian Rules Football" and why do it? Just to be a clever dick?

My kids play "Soccer." They play for a "Soccer Club" in a "Soccer League"
But yes, there are those pretentious twats who have insisted on calling their clubs the "Black Swamp Junior Football Club." Knowing full well that in Perth, the majority of people would believe that to be an Australian Rules club.
It's not about being right or wrong, its about common sense and not creating confusion.

Reply #710740 | Report this post


AD  
Last year

The persistent argument about participation is also irrelevant.

In the USA, where they still claim Baseball as their "National Game," more males play Softball than Baseball, and of those the majority play slow-pitch. Yet nobody wants to see Major League Slow-Pitch Softball.

I don't know what the participation rates are for cricket, excluding beaches and backyards, but I'm sure they don't reflect it's status in Australia.

Where Basketball has a HUGE advantage, if only BA & the NBL could exploit it, is that on the world stage we're actually pretty good. We need to build some strong international rivalries. Having something like the Bledisloe with NZ, or playing a "Tri-Nations" with say NZ and the UK. Maybe a genuine Asian Cup, featuring China and a couple of other good teams.
(not this FIBA BS where we send a 4th string team to play some 3rd rate Asian pissant in qualifying games nobody cares about)
(But keep in mind that such things are long, long term, and the ultimate fruits won't be seen for decades.)

Reply #710742 | Report this post


koberulz  
Last year

So you want better Australian teams to play against worse opponents in games that mean even less?

Reply #710743 | Report this post


KET  
Last year

Kobe, you've gone out of your way to miss the point of his post, why do you constantly do that?

I don't think NZ is worse than Asian sides we face, but we already face them frequently. I think the UK are an improving side.

But yes, games the Boomers play have been historically boring and lacking any real rivalry or impetus. In all honesty, it comes down to 2 key factors that would help 1) playing fullish strength euro teams regularly throughout the year in "windows" and 2) having as full a strength side as possible for ourselves

Problem with that is timing, competing league schedules, lack of interest by top basketball players to play in non-WC or non-Olympic tournaments, risk of injury, insurance, travel times, overall cost.... the list goes on

Reply #710754 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

>Brisbane's court looks exactly the same as everyone else's, except they actually get painted keyways, so they're the best in the league IMO. The worst one for mine is Perth, every other team has their colours on all four out-of-bounds areas and Perth could only manage one (and the one almost always invisible to the TV cameras at that).

Because they're only team that get sponsors?

Reply #711459 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Channel surfed and saw the A-League Sydney derby being played. Both sides had sh!t hot jerseys with main sponsor logos that blend in seamlessly with the primary colour. They looked so professional.

Reply #711544 | Report this post




 

Reply to this topic

Random name suggestion for anonymous posters: Ceres 78

Rules:You must read the Terms of Use. No spam, no offensive material, no sniping at other clubs, no 'who cares?'-type comments, no naming or bashing under 18 players. Learn how to embed YouTube videos or tweets

Please proof-read your post before submitting as you will not be able to edit it afterwards.



Close ads
Dunk.com.au - Custom basketball uniforms
PickStar - The best place to book sports stars
Westside Basketball Association

Advertise on Hoops to a very focused, local and sports-keen audience. Email for rates and options.

Recent Posts



Invoicing clients? Stay productive with Punch, the insightful time tracker that earns you more.

Special offer: $30/month Pay $100 for lifetime access. Sign up now!

.


An Australian basketball forum covering NBL, WNBL, ABL, Juniors plus NBA, WNBA, NZ, Europe, etc | Forum time is: 7:14 am, Tue 18 Jun 2019 | Posts: 774,386 | Last 7 days: 699