Basketball NZ on brink of collapse due to coronavirus' impact on NBA, betting

Basketball New Zealand is feeling the pinch as prolonged delays in the NBA season directly impact its revenue.

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The organisation relies heavily on funding from the TAB to stay afloat but the lack of sport fixtures around the globe means no one is betting. Source: 1 NEWS

The CEO of Basketball NZ, Iain Potter, says the sport across the nation is in jeopardy.

"It's impacting us at every level, right down to our associations and communities having to consider the activities that they're running and how they manage their way through this period that we are all facing." 

The organisation relies heavily on funding provided by the TAB, so with no sports fixtures for punters to bet on, Basketball New Zealand's cashflow will reduce by a considerable amount. 

Basketball is the biggest beneficiary of TAB funding. Last year, the organisation claimed the largest share of a $12 million pool which was spread across 34 national sporting organisations.

"About 30 per cent of our revenue comes from the bets from the TAB, and 80 per cent of that is tied to the NBA. So to cut to the chase, if the NBA does not resume its season, we will be approximately $650,000 short of what revenue we thought we would get," Potter said.

Potter forsees Basketball NZ's imminent demise if the NBA does not resume by next season.

"We would need the next NBA season, which starts mid-to-late October. If they get underway as ususal and the wagering on basketball resumes, we would come through the other side probably badly bruised but OK. If they did not commence the next season, I don't even want to think about it really."

When asked whether redundancies are likely, Potter suggested that discussions will take place in the coming weeks.

"We have got a board meeting in a couple of weeks and we will be looking a some of the scenarios then - how we look, whether we cut programmes, overheads, all of it, how we do that. Every sport will be considering the same, but we would probably want to move on some of those things over the next six weeks."

Potter also said that discussions with NBL franchises are in progress to determine whether the NBL season can go ahead.