Basketball euphoria: Short EM hype or sustainable growth?

Basketball will be in the niche forever? Or that success in the European competition in their country with great games like in the semi-finals against Greece guarantee a real boost for the sport in Germany? In the BR24 sports discussion “one on one”, BR journalist Lukas Schönmüller remains skeptical, while colleague Jan Wiecken spreads optimism.

“I think so,” Wiecken said when asked if he thought the sustainable expansion of basketball was possible in Germany and referred to the current ratings that private radio has achieved by broadcasting Greek games on free TV. “With the 14-49 age group (the most relevant age group for advertisers, ed.), they have a young audience. That is interesting and gives hope for the future.”

Limiting target groups related to advertising

In fact, last Tuesday, more people in this age group watched basketball than the Champions League soccer match, which of course was only broadcast live on television. For some time now, there is a trend that young viewers turn to football and are interested in other sports, including basketball.

In the discussion, Schönmüller argued that there has been a lot of hype in recent years and decades that have spread, whether in basketball, basketball, in ice hockey after reaching the finals of the 2018 Olympics or more in women’s soccer. And he asked: “Does anyone still watch ice hockey? No. The league is almost broke and is now called a supermarket.”

Counter-ex ice hockey: “The league is called like a supermarket”

His optimistic prediction: “In 90 hours nobody will be talking about basketball anymore. It will end on Sunday evening. Basketball will always remain the dominant sport in Germany.” Basketball journalist BR Wiecken is more hopeful: “Bundesliga basketball will not take the sport out of its spotlight, it stands and falls in international success. If they stay and we continue to win medals with this team, I can imagine that it is even greater. The hype is created and that it is also sustainable.”

After winning the European Championship in 1993 or later after the World Cup 2002 bronze medal and the silver medal of the European Championship in 2005 with Dirk Nowitzki certain, sustainable growth did not succeed. When it comes to the attention of the audience, “King Football” is unmatched, the best Formula 1 can maintain in the successful era of Michael Schumacher.

More Germans in the NBA increase the chances of growth

“The problem in 1993 was that the DBB was taken completely by surprise, the Bundesliga was stuck in ugly school gymnasiums,” Wiecken said last night. This is different today. Unlike at the beginning of the 2000s, not only is Nowitzki in one of the best basketball leagues in the world, the NBA, but there are many players who are playing big in the European Championship – along with Dennis Schröder, Daniel Theis and Franz Wagner.

More and more players manage to get there. So it may have a “backfire”, as Schönmüller calls it, a lasting effect. Should Maximilian Kleber, Moritz Wagner or Isaac Hartenstein, who are injured or protected, join the team of national coach Gordon Herbert, basketball will have a better chance than 20 years ago.

BBL hopes to have a full hall

The club of the Basketball Bundesliga (BBL), which begins the new season at the end of September, hopes to receive increased interest and a full hall. And the international will have the next opportunity to attract attention again in 2023: in the World Cup in the Philippines, in Japan and Indonesia.

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