FIBA listened to National Federations’requests and reduced players’workload in a condensed season: Qualifiers will start in February 2020
The Executive Committee received an assessment on the FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers based on a research from an independent sports consultancy. It confirmed the success of the first ever Qualifiers on three key aspects like attendance, media coverage and interest from fans around the globe.
The research shows that the 420 games attracted 1.7 million fans to 157 arenas around the world, resulting in 157 sold-out games and an average arena occupancy of 68 per cent. The format attracted big crowds on all continents with, for example, 23,500 watching the Philippines play Australia in Manilla, 12,167 in Helsinki for the clash between Finland and France, 11,000 for the African game between Angola and Egypt and 10,550 for Brazil versus Chile.
Significantly, live TV coverage in more than 150 markets was supplemented by a social media reach of 2.2 billion, with 591 million impressions and 7.5 million engagements across all platforms, as well as a total of 429 million video views.
It was not only the committed basketball fans who enjoyed the Qualifiers. The study shows that over 63 million fans who do not watch other basketball games made a point of following the Qualifiers, resulting in significant fanbase growth in all areas.
Following requests by National Federations from Americas and Europe, and after consultation with ULEB, the Executive Committee has reviewed the calendar for the Continental Cups 2021 Qualifiers. Taking into consideration:
* The number of games needed to qualify for the Continental Cups 2021 (6 games) and the number of windows scheduled (four: November 2019, February and November 2020, February 2021);
* The tremendous impact generated by having two games of the National team during every window of the World Cup Qualifiers, acting as a multiplier and creating a positive effect in the countries where those games are played;
* The heavy workload and condensed calendar for players during the 2019-20 season due to the early start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games;
the Executive Committee decided to optimize the Continental Cups 2021 Qualifiers, by having all teams play two official games during each window of the Qualifiers. As a result, the sole qualifier game from the November 2019 window will be rescheduled so that the Qualifiers will start in February 2020, continue in November 2020 and February 2021, with two games played by each team in every window. This rescheduling applies only to Continental Cups 2021 Qualifiers and will not impact future FIBA Basketball World Cup and Continental Cup Qualifiers.
This new schedule will further reduce the workload of players, optimize the logistics and costs for National Federations, and allow more space for the national leagues in an exceptionally condensed season.