After broadcasting the inaugural season of the BIG3 basketball league on tape delay, Fox has decided to show the games live for season two. The BIG3 is a half court three-on-three basketball league created by Ice Cube, featuring former NBA players Jermaine O’Neal, Kenyon Martin, Mike Bibby, and Allen Iverson, among others.
Last summer BIG3 games were played on Sundays and aired by Fox Sports on Monday. The championship was the only game of the season broadcast live by Fox Sports. Ratings peaked during the first week, with an audience nearing 400,000 and dropped to as few as 129,000 viewers in its third week, continuing to fluctuate throughout the rest of the season.
After agreeing to broadcast the second season of BIG3 games next summer, Fox announced they will air a majority of the games live. Season two games will be played and televised on Friday nights.
“Following the success of FOX Sports’ live broadcast of last season’s BIG3 championship game, we knew we wanted to expand that live access for basketball fans throughout the season,” Fox Sports executive John Entz said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to continue to grow our partnership with the BIG3, and we look forward to another season of exciting basketball with some of the most recognized athletes in the game.”
In the fast paced digital age for television consumers, tape delay is a hard sell to generate an excited audience. Monday night is a much better TV ratings night than Friday, which is typically one of the worst rated television nights of the week, but airing a live feed should still give the league a boost.