Cheshire Phoenix could soon be stars of the small screen after the BBL announced it was to stream league games worldwide thanks to a new partnership with Sky Sports.
The collaboration between the league, Hawk-Eye Innovations, Skysports.com and WebcastSport will see live coverage of BBL & Women’s British Basketball League (WBBL) games is to return to screens in January.
The deal has been made possible by technology supplied by UK sports technology innovators, Hawk-Eye, best known for its electronic line calling service for the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships and its Premier League football goal line technology.
The first stage of this ground-breaking partnership will see an initial pilot of four BBL events streamed live in January 2016 via Skysports.com and Webcastsport.com, although the Nix don't feature in the first tranche of games.
Employing four to six automated broadcast quality HD cameras, which utilise Hawk-Eye's cutting edge, vision processing techniques, and combining Hawk-Eye's IT-based software platform, WebcastSport will deliver a live, HD quality sports programme ready for streaming, which will also be available free on demand.
A further element of the collaboration will enable basketball fans worldwide to watch the live streaming of BBL games for free on their PC, and on their tablet or smart phone via the Sky Sports' app.
Bob Hope, Commercial Director, BBL, WBBL and GB Basketball said: "This is a hugely exciting first step towards our goal of bringing British basketball to fans worldwide.
"I would like to thank all parties involved who have worked both hard and selflessly to pull this ground-breaking collaboration together.
"Not only will the partnership give fans the opportunity of watching live games on their PCs but also on their tablets and Smartphones, and all for free."
British basketball was covered on Sky in the late 90s and into the 2000s but axed in 2013, with the league turning to live streaming on their own website for a season.
The league opted not to stream games this season, making coverage of the British domestic game virtually non-existent.
The BBC did show the play-off final on its red-button service in May this year live from the O2 Arena in London, a venue which the league's show-piece event will return to at the end of this season following a sell-out crowd.