MANILA, Philippines – It took a while before NBA games made its way back to free-to-air TV in the Philippines, so basketball-crazed Filipinos utilized alternative platforms to watch the game they love the most.
NBA Philippines set record numbers in the first two weeks of the 2019-2020 season as the first 10 full-length games livestreamed on Facebook Watch drew 11.2 million total views and 9.2 million total viewers.
That's an average of 1 million views and viewers per game – a massive success considering it is the first time select NBA games were livestreamed in the Philippines for free on Facebook and Twitter.
Jackpot from the start
NBA Philippines, the largest regional NBA Facebook page with over 4 million fans, hit it big from the start with the broadcast of the opening day match between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Featuring superstars LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Kawhi Leonard, the game accumulated 2.6 million views and 2 million viewers.
It also generated 15.7 million viewing minutes, nearly matching the 16.5 million viewing minutes of the 2018-2019 UEFA Champions League Final between Liverpool and Tottenham on Australia's Otpus Sports platform.
LeBron, Lakers are king
James is arguably the most followed NBA player in the Philippines and the Lakers are among the more popular teams in the country, so it was a no-brainer why their games attracted millions of Filipino viewers.
The 3 Lakers games livestreamed on the NBA Philippines Facebook page generated 5 million total views and 3.9 million total viewers, an average of 1.7 million views and 1.3 million viewers per game, respectively.
As of publication, the November 10 match between the Lakers and the Toronto Raptors is the most viewed on Facebook with 2.8 million views and 2.1 million viewers.
More ways to watch
After almost a month without NBA games on free-to-air television in the country, CNN Philippines struck a deal with the league to televise select games and feature highlights across its various programs.
That only gives Filipino hoops fans another platform to watch games as NBA Philippines will continue broadcasting games on its social media accounts.
Globe also offers prepaid subscribers with 1GB free data per day on Facebook that can be used for viewing livestreamed games on NBA Philippines Facebook Page. – Rappler.com