The National Basketball League (NBL) has delivered record-breaking attendances for the opening round of the 2019-20 Season whilst also boasting phenomenal streaming figures out of the U.S.
The opening round game between the Illawarra Hawks and Brisbane Bullets has become the most-watched game in NBL history with one million people watching the live stream on Facebook in the U.S.
This is a result of a landmark deal between the NBL and Facebook, with a selection of games during the season to be streamed on Facebook Watch in the U.S via the NBL Facebook page.
The global reach of the NBL this season has already produced a massive increase in engagement across the league’s social media platforms, with 4.5 million impressions on Instagram posts across the opening round alone.
The average engagement on Facebook per post has increased by 250% and by 340% on Twitter.
NBL Owner and Executive Chairman, Larry Kestelman, said: “These are huge numbers by any measure and confirm the NBL’s status as a global entertainment product.
“They also reinforce our position as the best basketball league in the world outside of the NBA during what is a very exciting time for the sport in Australia and New Zealand.
“There is obviously a lot of interest in LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton ahead of next year’s NBA draft but also the NBL and basketball here more broadly.
“Our games are being broadcast to a potential reach 130 million people across the world including the U.S., Europe and Asia but our numbers are also exploding across all social media platforms.
“As a global sport and entertainment product, we are in a unique position to capitalise on this as we continue to grow the league both here and around the world in the years to come.”
An average crowd of 7,712 attended the four games in round one, the highest ever average attendance for an opening round in the NBL’s 42 season history and a 10 per cent increase on the average attendance for the same round last season.
Round two of the 2019-20 Hungry Jack’s will tip off this Friday night when the Brisbane Bullets plays the Cairns Taipans in their new home venue at QSNC.