Fox Sports signed a deal with the social-media platform to stream one Big3 game per week live during the 2018 season exclusively on Facebook, free to anyone in the world to watch. The games on Facebook will lead in to three additional games, which will air exclusively on Fox or FS1 (and simulcast live in the Fox Sports app) during the regular season and playoffs.
The pact tips off with the Big3 season opener in Houston on June 22, available on the Big3 on Fox page (facebook.com/big3onfox) for the first nine weeks of the season. In addition to getting exclusive live access to nine games this summer, Facebook will host highlight packages and game recaps for all 37 games, including the championship in Brooklyn on Aug. 24.
Big3 launched its inaugural season last year, with a format in which the first team to 50 points wins along with other novel features like a four-point line (30 feet from the net). The league was founded by producer-actor-rapper Ice Cube and his manager, entertainment industry exec Jeff Kwatinetz.
“Given that our fans had an average age of more than 10 years younger than typical basketball fans, we want to provide digital viewing experiences so they can engage with our league in a format that best suits their viewing preferences,” Big3 co-CEO Kwatinetz said in a statement.
“Basketball conversation doesn’t have an off-season on our platform, so we’re excited for these social-first broadcasts to amplify this engagement over the summer,” added Devi Mahadevia, Facebook’s live sports programming lead for North America.
The first Big3 game to stream on Facebook (June 22) features a matchup between Rashard Lewis’ 3 Headed Monsters and Mike Bibby’s Ghost Ballers. That will be followed by FS1’s broadcast of Chauncey Billups’ Killer 3’s and Dermarr Johnson’s 3’s Company; Corey Maggette’s Power and Brian Scalabrine’s Ball Hogs; and Kenyon Martin’s Trilogy and Jermaine O’Neal’s Tri-State.
The league’s players include Amar’e Stoudemire, Baron Davis, Kenyon Martin, Stephen Jackson, Chauncey Billups, Metta World Peace, and Nate Robinson, along with well-known coaches like Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Gary Payton, Nancy Lieberman and George “The Iceman” Gervin.
Pictured above: Trilogy’s Al Harrington (r.) shoots with Killer 3’s Reggie Evans defending during the Big3 league’s debut at the Barclays Center in New York in June 2017.