Fox Sports has announced it has renewed its rights agreement with Big3 Basketball for 2018. The 3-on-3 basketball league featuring NBA legends is in its inaugural season and will crown its champion live on Fox this Saturday.
Throughout the season, FS1 has aired Big3 Basketball on a one-day delay on Monday nights, adding interviews and elements rather than air the games live when they’re played on Sunday afternoons.
And after a fantastic start, the ratings on FS1 leveled off, but they still finished better than last year’s programming which was mainly UFC repeats.
Fox Sports executive David Nathanson is quoted in the official announcement as being excited to see the Big3 return to the network:
“We think we have something great with the BIG3 and are thrilled to add another year to our partnership,” said Nathanson. “In its inaugural year, the league provided competitive, entertaining basketball that really resonated with fans, as evidenced by its television ratings on FS1 and packed arenas across the country.”
Even as the games air on a one-day delay, this is original summer content that FS1 can hang its proverbial hat on and it can become a tentpole for the network during a time when sports is slow.
The league that was created by Ice Cube has seen decent attendance for its eight-week regular season and last week’s playoffs on a cross-country tour that has made stops in Brooklyn to Los Angeles. The championship will take place this Saturday in Las Vegas.
For next season, we’ll see if Fox decides to air the games live or continue the one-day delay policy. But one thing is for sure, regular season games will be aired on FS1 like they were this season.