NBA Rookie of the Year candidate Luka Dončić’s play and center Nikola Jokić’s All-Star season helped drive international League Pass subscriptions up by 21 percent for the 2018-19 season.
League Pass data that the NBA shared with SportTechie showed how the teams and home countries of the Mavericks’ Dončić and the Nuggets’ Jokić showed the largest growth in viewership. The Nuggets saw a boost of 41 percent and the Mavericks jumped 34 percent. Jokić was one of five Serbians on opening night team rosters, and Serbia significantly boosted its subscriber base with a 395-percent year-over-year increase. Dončić and veteran Heat guard Goran Dragić are the only two Slovenians in the NBA, but their native country almost tripled its viewers, with a 186 percent bump.
Montenegro and Greece had the next largest year-over-year increase in unique viewers, in conjunction with the first All-Star campaign for Magic center Nikola Vučević from Montenegro and a breakout season for the Bucks and their Greek star forward, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
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For the fifth straight season, the NBA had more than 100 international players with at least one playing with each of the 30 teams. Outside the U.S., China was the clear leader for total League Pass subscriptions, followed by Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Philippines, and the U.K. Total watch time increased 16 percent.
The 16 playoff-qualifying NBA teams boasted 60 international players from 29 countries. International League Pass viewers will be able to choose from three unique feeds powered by Second Spectrum tracking data and graphics: Player Mode shows scoring probabilities for each player in real time, Coach Mode illustrates X-and-O tactics, and Mascot Mode provides an entertaining presentation targeting younger or casual viewers.
League Pass introduced a variety of new incremental viewing options this season, including discounted fourth quarters (and overtime) and 10-minute segments for 99 cents. The package also became available via Amazon Prime Video.