Basketball: Singapore Slingers net three-year broadcast deal with StarHub

Singapore Slingers' Xavier Alexander attempts to score against the Shanghai Sharks during their Merlion Cup match in September 2016.
Singapore Slingers' Xavier Alexander attempts to score against the Shanghai Sharks during their Merlion Cup match in September 2016.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Slingers and StarHub announced on Wednesday (Nov 16) a three-year deal that will see the local telco become the country's only professional basketball team's official broadcast partner.

The agreement begins with the upcoming 2016-17 Asean Basketball League (ABL) season that starts on Nov 25, with the Slingers facing defending champions Westports Malaysia Dragons at the OCBC Arena in a re-match of last season's finals.

All of the Slingers' matches in the ABL will be shown live on StarHub's free sports channel, Hub Sports Arena (StarHub TV Channel 112/205). Non-StarHub TV customers can also watch the channel by connecting their TV sets to a cable point and turning to 76.25MHz.

In addition, the games will be accessible on smart devices through StarHub's online streaming service, StarHub Go.

Slingers general manager Michael Johnson said: "This broadcast agreement with StarHub is poised to give the team a massive boost as our games can now reach a wider audience.

"After coming so close to winning the league last season, we believe we are ready to go on another championship run, and our fans will be able to follow us more closely with this partnership."

Slingers owner Wee Siew Kim added: "We have worked tirelessly with representatives of StarHub throughout the off season to get this deal done. StarHub has been supportive of the Slingers for the past few seasons and we believe this strengthened partnership we are announcing today will be a fruitful one for both StarHub and the Singapore Slingers.

Now into its seventh season, the six-team ABL will have three new teams, Alab Pilipinas (Philippines), Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions (Hong Kong) and Kaohsiung Truth (Taiwan). They join the Dragons, Slingers and Saigon Heat (Vietnam).

Each side will face each other four times during the three-month elimination round. The top four squads with the best record will then enter the play-offs.

StarHub's head of content & TV Lee Soo Hui said: "Being a homegrown brand, we are proud to back the Slingers. The team is fuelled by the support of the fans which is why we are making it as convenient as possible for them to follow the Slingers.

"With this partnership, Slingers fans can now catch the team's ABL matches live on multiple platforms across TV, tablets and smartphones, so they can cheer the team on wherever they are.

"We will also be looking to engage fans by running contests where viewers can stand to win premiums and tickets to Slingers matches."