12 Nov 2014

Nuggets withdraw from NBL

6:00 am on 12 November 2014

The Otago Nuggets have withdrawn from the National Basketball League for the second time in five years due to financial constraints.

The Nuggets also pulled out of the NBL in 2009 for similar reasons.

Otago Nuggets' Brandon Bowdry in action in NBL in 2014.

Otago Nuggets' Brandon Bowdry in action in NBL in 2014. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

It's unclear whether the franchise will return in 2016.

NBL chairman Sam Rossiter-Stead says the Otago franchise decided it needed time out to regroup, and he's sure it's not going to be terminal.

Rossiter-Stead says income is always a challenge, especially in today's climate, but most teams are run successfully and enter year on year.

However Waikato, Auckland and Canterbury have also all withdrawn from the league for a short time in recent years, begging the question whether the current national model is sustainable.

A way of limiting travel costs to make it financially viable, such as a North Island and South Island conference, would also limit the appeal of the competition, as teams like the Nuggets would only meet other top outfits such as the Wellington Saints in the finals.

A lack of television coverage doesn't help bring in financial support either. In recent years Sky TV has only broadcast the weekend-long final four playoffs format that decides the NBL winner, while a deal with Maori TV was short-lived.