It might appear, at first glance, that all of Australia were watching the New Zealand Breakers play the Illawarra Hawks in a recent NBL game.
The reports are that two million people tuned in.
Second glance reveals that the two million people audience claim was for a global audience that streamed the game on Facebook.
Finally, social media with a useful purpose. Plus, breaks in the game left plenty of time for viewers to catch the latest viral kitten video, upload some pictures of their lunch for global approval and express meanness toward those who were not fulfilling expectations.
The latest record in views came in the same month as did the debut of LaMelo Ball for Illawarra earlier in the month.
The new record was the result of the presence of both Ball and RJ Hampton.
The short attention span set erased those figures entirely, as the highlights from the game drew in around five million looks.
Both Hampton and Ball are considered bona fide NBA prospects, so both will receive plenty of attention, even if Hawks’ and Breakers supporters face the prospect of losing Ball and Hampton when the Instagram comes from the NBA.
History has shown that enhanced competition raises the levelof the participants and the NBL envisions a future where it continues to be a pipeline for NBA players.
The NBA, when it is not starting boilovers, has been supplying NBL players with the opportunity to experience the challenge of playing against the world’s best players during some visits that mesh with the NBA’s pre-season campaign.
NBL owner Larry Kestelman, a consummate promoter, laid claim to the NBL now being the world’s second best league.
Others may dispute the claim, but he reminds us of a bloke named Lamar Hunt, who took on the NFL with the upstart American Football League that began playing in 1960 and pulled off a merger with the NFL in 1969.
Television was the quaint route the AFL used to leverage the merger with the NFL, but with social media now becoming the be-all-end-all of communication, the sage Kestelman will not miss the chance to grow the NBL audience.