Top Stories

League Pass Rumors

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is to expand its international presence to 15 markets worldwide with the opening of a new office in Singapore. The world’s preeminent basketball competition says it will use the local hub to increase its existing growth efforts in the Asia-Pacific region, which include live games, content distribution, youth development programmes, fan events and merchandise sales.
The NBA boasts other significant numbers in other media resources. NBA League Pass subscribers increased by 30% from last season. Social media platforms garnered 13 billion video plays — a 7% increase from 2020-21. Rating should jump during the play-in tournament (Apr. 12-15). Last year, the Lakers-Warriors play-in generated the most viewers (5.6M) for an ESPN NBA telecast since the 2019 Western Conference Finals.
The NBA has seen a spike in viewership in Brazil, Australia and the Philippines, demonstrating that the league’s efforts to grow the game outside of North America is bearing fruit. In Brazil, National Basketball Association games this season are drawing a 16% larger average audience compared to last season, rising to fourth among countries outside the United States in largest total audience, the league said.
Storyline: TV Ratings
Australia has seen a 35% larger average audience compared to last season, including a 27% jump in viewership for the NBA’s Christmas day suite of games. The league’s opening night roster featured eight Australian players including veteran guard Patty Mills and rising star Josh Giddey, who are driving interest in their home country. The NBA has also enjoyed growth in viewership and on social media in the Philippines. The NBA’s Facebook page has more than 8.5 million followers from the Philippines, the No. 1 country outside the United States.
The NBA Finals, taking place in July for the first time, averaged 9.9 million viewers, representing the fourth-lowest figure this century, as noted Monday by my Axios counterpart Kendall Baker. The only three Finals to pull in smaller audiences were last season’s Finals from the Walt Disney World bubble (Lakers vs. Heat) that were staged much later than usual in October, 2007 (Spurs vs. Cavaliers) and 2003 (Spurs vs. Nets). The league has long maintained that such audience measures are incomplete, since they roughly account for only 10% of international markets and do not include figures from social media platforms or its League Pass streaming service.