It is no secret that the NBA is becoming an increasingly global league.
One way to prove that is the audience tuning in to watch the playoffs. According to research from the NBA obtained by HoopsHype, total viewing consumption among all international markets for the first round of the playoffs in 2021 was up by 13 percent when compared to the first round in 2020.
Streaming numbers also suggest a significant uptick in total international consumption. Global viewership on NBA League Pass is up 22 percent compared to the playoffs in 2020, per the league office, and a 28 percent increased compared to the 2019 postseason.
This could be thanks to the large presence of international players who have made an impact in the postseason.
For example, Italian forward Danillo Gallinari is currently enjoying his first season with the Atlanta Hawks. As a result, the Hawks have been the most-viewed team on SkySpot in Italy, drawing an audience that was 39 percent larger than other teams drew during the first round.
During the entirety of their 2021 campaign, the Hawks have seen an 83 percent year-over-year increase in unique viewers and a 280 percent year-over-year increase in watch hours on NBA League Pass specifically in Italy.
Swiss-born big man Clint Capela, who also plays for the Hawks, might be impacting viewership in his home country as well. Postseason game average unique viewership has increased by 23 percent in Switzerland since last season.
During the entirety of their campaign this season, similarly, Atlanta games are up by 62 percent year-over-year in unique Swiss viewers and watch hours are up by 256 percent year-over-year in Switzerland as well.
Thx to all the #ClipperNation for the support. Thx to the organization, the fans and my teammates for believing in me. Thank you for welcoming me and my family as one of your own since day one.
Nothing can be taken for granted in life. The journey continues, next stop: Tokyo! pic.twitter.com/Z9CexahJrX
— Nicolas Batum (@nicolas88batum) July 1, 2021
NBA veteran Nic Batum, who will soon represent his home country of France in the Olympics, made the playoffs with the L.A. Clippers this season after missing out when he was on the Charlotte Hornets in 2020.
Average viewership in France, via beIN Sports, was up by 149 percent when compared to year-over-year numbers. Through the end of May, viewership for the Clippers on French television was 18 percent higher than all other games.
Compared to last season, playoff game average viewership for the Clippers was up 35 percent and game average watch hours were up 45 percent on NBA League Pass in France.
Batum’s influence, like Gallinari’s and Capela’s, very likely played a major influence on such figures for viewership around the world.