New EuroLeague format sparks higher scoring, closer games and increased fan interest
The higher level of basketball that we are watching in the beginning of the new EuroLeague era has already greatly increased interest by fans of the sport, as it is evident by the related numbers.
Here is the related release by EuroLeague:
All of the best 16 teams in Europe playing each other in a round-robin format for the first time is already proving to have great impact both on and off the court through the first third of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season.
Higher scoring, closer games, more fans in the arenas, bigger reach on TV and soaring interest across the digital landscape are a few examples of the great benefit that forming a true league of the best teams is having on European pro basketball.
Chief among the improvements is a scoring average of 162.8 points over the first 80 games (81.4 points per team and game). That’s almost 10 points more than the per-game average of 153.9 per game between 2000 and this season.
Fans are also enjoying more three-point shots per game, almost 17, at a higher rate of accuracy, 37.7%, than in any season this century. Assists are at an all-time high, as well, with teams dishing 17.5 per game, almost 4 more than the average (13.8) for the first 15 seasons this century.
Close games are in fashion, too, with fully 25% of the 80 games played so far being decided by 3 or fewer points. That is 15% more close games than the 2015-16 season. If the margin of difference is extended to 5 points, the rate rises to 36.3% as compared to 21% last season. And if you talk about single-digit outcomes, the difference is a whopping 67.5% this season to just 48% in 2015-16.
At the arenas and at home, fans are getting addicted to the drama and high scoring more than ever, too. Attendance at games has shot up to a record of 8,313 fans on average. That’s a 27.8% jump as compared to the same period last season in 10 Regular Season games, and even 10.1% higher than the average of the entire 2015-16 season, which included high-demand games of the Top 16 and the playoffs.
The interest of fans in the new format was clear as the season started in October and November, when unique visitors to the official webpage, climbed by 32.4% as compared to same months of the previous season. Likewise, fans these two months saw 101% more pages on Euroleague.net and their visits lasted 63.3% more time. Meanwhile, the Euroleague.net bounce rate – how many users clicked on the site then left – dropped 25.5%. The rising audience was much the same on the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague’s official app, where 14.1% more unique users started 58.7% more sessions and stayed 61.1% longer in October, boosting screen views by 86.2%!
In social media, engagement figures grew in a range from 130% to an impressive 2,000% in the main official channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
On television, meanwhile, the demand to see the EuroLeague has set new records less than two months into the season, with two consecutive Games of the Week reaching more than 200 countries and territories, a broadcasting milestone never seen before outside the Final Four. That growing interest is clearly reflected by value of broadcasting deals having been multiplied by three or four times in key territories this season.