Why does it matter?
It wouldn't surprise if finals/playoffs was an exclusive part of an ESPN deal - and if the NBL became more of a draw card, you shouldn’t expect ESPN wouldn’t take advantage by it being behind the paywall in future seasons.
Similarly, it’s not surprising that one or two of the games would end up on FTA to reach more interest in the hope of drawing people to Kayo to watch the rest of the series, or even draw greater attention to the NBL - because at the end of the day those that see it on FTA and say "I want to watch more NBL" as a result can only be led to ESPN. It’s effectively a marketing push.
Kayo Freebies is another way for them to really peddle and compel people.
Whilst for the NBL, they benefit because they aren’t purely behind a paywall for some of the biggest games of the season.
It’s fantastic that they’ve got the full game on peach and managing to get a semblance of coverage on the main channel. The Sprint is a weird and whacky idea - I don’t know why Ten wants to do it, but it sounds like either 1) they kinda had ideas of the NBL being on the main channel and baulked at it, so 1 hour was worth a test, or more positively, 2) Ten and NBL came up with an innovative idea to get coverage on the main channel as a sign of confidence.
I’d love it to be #2, and I’ll optimistically say it is. I think it’s a savvy idea that I’d love to see become a more regular thing if possible.