article The NBA, as a sport, has become more international over the years, especially in the wake of the global economic crisis, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.
As a sports franchise, the league has also become more of a global brand, Goodman said.
“In the early ’90s, we weren’t really a global league.
But the way the game has evolved, now it is,” Goodman said Tuesday.
“They don’t have to worry about the players who have played overseas.
They can come to their home markets and compete for the same prize pool.”
While some teams still play overseas, the NBA’s global footprint has grown in recent years, with some teams playing in China, Europe and the United States.
The NBA’s total viewership rose by 12 percent from the 2014-15 season to 29.6 million viewers, according in-market tracking by Nielsen Sports.
That’s more than three times as many viewers as the NFL’s viewership, which averaged 22.4 million.
ESPN’s Goodman said the NBA and other sports leagues are trying to find ways to connect with a global audience in the future.
“We are seeing a lot of success with that with the NBA Network, with NBA.tv, the Olympics and the World Cup,” he said.
“[The NBA] has to find a way to do more with the global audience.”
The NBA has a growing online presence in India.
ESPN Stats & Info reported that more than 20 million people have subscribed to the NBA Live app, and the NBA has more than 1 million members on its Facebook page.
Goodman said there’s a “very big opportunity” for the NBA in India, with more and more fans flocking to online games.
“I think that the NBA can do a lot with the fans,” he added.
“It’s a great sport.
The fans are loyal.
They are passionate about it.”
— Follow Chris Isidore on Twitter at @ChrisIsidore and on Instagram at ChrisIsidoresports.