NBA Season Sets Records for Subscriptions, Social

In a season in which the National Basketball Association set several attendance records, it also record new highs for its subscription video product and social media activity.

Digital subscriptions to NBA League Pass were up 63% from last season. Subscription sales were helped by new features including in-arena coverage during breaks, a new season-long virtual-reality subscription packages, monthly pricing options and Spanish-language video for some games.

In social media, video views were up 43% to 11 billion. Since the end of the 2016-17 regular season the NBA added 8.7 million follower to its social handles, up 9% The league said it has more than 1.5 million likes and followers across league, team and player social platforms worldwide.

All Star LeBron James, currently playing for the Cavaliers, is the most followed American athlete on social media with more than 100 million followers, including 23 million in Facebook, 41 million on Twitter and 36 million on Instagram.

NBA basketball has been popular on TV as well. viewership was up 17% on ABC for the regular season, averaging 3,818,000 viewers over 17 games.

Average attendance for NBA regular season games was 17,987, topping the old record of 17,884 set last season. It’s the fourth consecutive year a record has been set.

Total attendance topped 22 million for the first time, with 22,124,559 people coming to games, up from 21,997,412, which was, for 12 months, a record as well.

NBA merchandise sales at were up 25% to set a record.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.