NBL hits big three pointer with Facebook Watch streaming partnership

The National Basketball League has joined forces with Facebook Watch to live stream games in the US, Australia and New Zealand for the upcoming 2019-20 season.

It is a move made to take full advantage of the arrival into the league of 18-year-old hot prospects LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton, who are both expected to be leading picks in next year's NBA draft.

The partnership with Facebook will see 52 NBL games streamed on Facebook Watch in the US via the NBL Facebook page, that will focus on Ball (Illawarra Hawks) and Hampton (SKY Sport New Zealand Breakers).

There will also be an additional 23 regular-season games, finals and other highlights to be streamed in Australia and New Zealand.

NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said: ?This partnership will ensure huge exposure for the NBL in the biggest basketball market in the world.

?It also reinforces our status as the best basketball league in the world outside of the NBA during what is an incredibly exciting time for the sport in Australia and New Zealand.

?There is a lot of interest in Melo and RJ ahead of next year?s NBA draft but also the NBL and basketball here more broadly.?

Both Ball's first game on October 6 against the Brisbane Bullets, and Hampton's debut against Sydney Kings on October 1 will be shown on Facebook Watch in the US.

Karren Rogers of Facebook Australia Sports Partnerships said: ?We?re thrilled to bring the exciting action of the NBL to Facebook Watch.

?People in the US ? especially Ball in the Family fans ? will enjoy watching two of basketball?s brightest young stars develop overseas, while those in Australia and New Zealand will now have a new way to watch and interact with the NBL.?

The opening game of the season between Melbourne United and South East Melbourne Phoenix on October 3 is set to be the first Facebook Watch broadcast in Australia and New Zealand.