BASKETBALL IS COMING TO BRITISH TELEVISION BUT IS IT HERE TO STAY?

Basketball is also at the early stages of a big rise in The United Kingdom. While it has always had huge worldwide popularity, it has never really broken into regular programming on British Television. It has only been viewed either via illegal streams or by those who purchase an expensive sports package purely to watch the NBA. 

The Sudden Rise of Basketball in the UK

Basketball has had a rise in attention due to the overwhelming popularity of the Netflix Documentary ‘The Last Dance’ and with it being the focus on many films that get played a lot on British television. Coach Carter finds it way onto screens as if Coach Carter himself is making the programming schedule. Recently BBC has announced that it will begin airing coverage of NBA games along with shows focused on Basketball in a bit to drive even more attention to the sport. 

Basketball Betting

Some attention was drawn to basketball betting after the huge success of the film Uncut Gems, which featured Kevin Durant playing himself, as he becomes embroiled in the world of gambling. Casino slots are a safe way to gamble, as compared to putting your faith in the hands of Adam Sandler’s character in the film, as he struggles with a severe gambling addiction. The player truly demonstrates why it’s important to only gamble with the money you can afford to lose, as his self-destructive habits take over his life. 

Nevertheless, pop culture references like this are one of the big ways in which basketball gets attention in the UK, with another Adam Sandler film Hustle being a big hit in the country recently, as well as Space Jam and Space Jam New Legacy being filmed that brought in a lot of viewers and to many, this is the main frame of reference to the game of basketball. 

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American Sports have always been the subject of curiosity of English sports fans. While people have always picked their favourite teams based on the colour of the jersey of a famous figure who sports that team, there is very little coverage and events in Baseball, Ice Hockey, Basketball and American Football in the UK. That being said, if you walk down a street in Britain on a summer day you will see many people wearing basketball jerseys as well as people clinging to their Air Jordans in all seasons. 

The View and Popularity of American Sport in the UK

American Football has made arguably the biggest impression of the last few years out of all the major American sports with games being held at Wembley Stadium every year to expand the fanbase of the sport as well as Tottenham Hotspur building their new stadium with the very purpose of it to be used for NFL. 

Tottenham Hotspurs star player Harry Kane has even been vocal in his wish to one day go into American Football as quarterback, with Tom Brady being his idol, however, there is yet to be any word on whether he has any attempt to try a slam dunk in his effort to do his best Michael Jordan impression. Ice Hockey also grows it’s fanbase with games being played in the UK, many of which at large venues such as Alexandra Palace. Again, Harry Kane is yet to make a statement on his views on Wayne Gretzky. That leaves Baseball as the next major American Sport to get big coverage in the UK. 

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The Time Is Now to Get into Basketball In The UK

But now it is the NBA’s time to really strike a chord with the British audience. With the NBA players drawing closer this is a great time to become fully invested in the sport of Basketball. The deal will shine a light on the sport in a whole new way. Earlier in the year BBC announced a nine-game deal with the NBA to show games which will put it at the very top of the TV channel listings. 

Despite the sport still being somewhat niche in the UK, the videos games have proven to be consistently quite popular, with the NBA Live series being a big seller every time a new game comes out. Not quite on the same level as the FIFA game series, nothing can quite compete with football in the UK, but it still is a popular product that many people will be sure to purchase every single year. 

Basketball has its own league in the UK. However, it does not reach the same levels of fame as it does in America. In the Men’s league, Hemel Storm won the most recent season while in the women’s division Team Solent Kestrel’s are the ones who are dominating the top end of the league table. Basketball England works hard to make the sport inclusive in the UK, and the highlighting of the NBA on British screens is something that will draw even more positive attention to the sport.