As the NBA moves into the playoffs, the league is celebrating more than just the chase for the Larry O’Brien Trophy. The recently completed 2021-22 regular season marked a big jump in unique viewers for their NBA League Pass package, which saw a 19.65% increase over the previous year. League Pass also saw its total number of hours watched rise by 18.4% over the course of the season. The popular package is available on both linear services and streaming in the United States and via the NBA International League Pass streaming app globally.
As the service allows viewers to watch games live and on-demand, it saw a 28% increase in live viewers and a 35% jump in terms of the total hours watched on connected devices. League Pass saw a 30% subscriber increase for the 2021-22 season as well. The growth was significantly fueled by increases in a number of international markets with South Africa posting a 66% gain, followed by Thailand (+51%), Germany (+41%), and Chile (+40%).
Unsurprisingly, countries with prominent NBA stars also tuned into the streaming service with Greece seeing a 9% increase in subscribers year-over-year, no doubt in part to watch MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo and his brother Thanasis play together for the Milwaukee Bucks. Last season’s MVP Nikola Jokić’s home country of Serbia saw a 17% jump in subscribers this year, and Dallas Mavericks’ star Luka Dončić’s native Slovenia also recorded an impressive +14% bump in NBA International League Pass subscribers.
However, the NBA’s viewership increases weren’t reserved strictly for League Pass. The 2021-22 season saw a 19% improvement on ABC, ESPN, and TNT over the previous season and came in as the most-viewed regular season since 2018-19. The telecasts on the league’s three main broadcast partners averaged 1.6 million viewers apiece.
The rise in basketball viewership wasn’t reserved strictly for the pros this season either. Following the conclusion of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament earlier this month, Turner Sports — who also operates League Pass — also shared their March Madness Live saw big gains this year.
The historic Final Four game between archrivals North Carolina and Duke saw the largest audience and most minutes consumed for any single game in the history of the March Madness Live streaming app. The game had “a record-shattering 1.4 million concurrent streams.”
As always, it is a good time to be a buckethead.
For fans of the NBA, the various League Pass services offer the opportunity to follow one team or the entire league with every game (blackout restrictions apply). Prices and features vary greatly, depending on what you’d like to watch.
Subscriptions include Home and Away broadcasts, Mobile View, plus additional languages and camera angles. You’ll also get in-stream advanced statistics so you can check the box score and get live stats on players and teams without ever leaving the stream.
The NBA offers three plans: “Team Pass” (US$ 13.99) provides great options if you only want to follow a single team.
“League Pass” (US$ 14.99) lets you see every game across the entire league.
The “League Pass Premium” (US$ 19.99) plan provides the option to watch on 2 devices without commercials.
NBA League Pass is also available as an Amazon Prime Video channel.