How Basketball Coverage Differs In Europe And The US

Photo: Len Werle / OpenCourt-Basketball

How Basketball Coverage Differs In Europe And The US


As basketball is an American sport, it’s fair to say that there are a few major differences in the way that it’s portrayed in the US when compared to Europe. That’s not to say Europe can’t be crazy about the sport. In fact, there are some amazing basketball teams in Germany, Latvia and more, and a whole lot of basketball-mad fans out there! 

It can be really interesting to see the differences between basketball’s portrayal in different parts of the world, so today we’ll be looking at those in terms of betting, television coverage and in the news. Don’t go anywhere!


Basketball betting in the US and Europe

One of the main ways in which basketball coverage differs between the US and Europe is in betting. NBA betting in the states is a massive scene for obvious reasons, but in Ireland betting on the NBA is quite popular – it’s the most spectated basketball league in the world by a very big margin. 

However, there are a couple of drawbacks to betting in the US. For example, the sports betting laws in the US differ from state to state. In some states, sports betting is completely legal and in others, it’s only legal online or in a casino. In Europe, on the other hand, sports betting is legal pretty much across the board.

Of course, a lot of Europeans will place bets on the NBA but nowhere near as many as in the US. Instead, Europeans often bet on their domestic leagues such as the Basketball Bundesliga in Germany or the National Basketball League of the Czech Republic.


Television coverage

If you’re based in the states or have ever visited, you’ll know how much TV coverage basketball gets. It’s everywhere! And because there are so many games all the time, it can feel like there’s non-stop, round the clock basketball (except, of course, when the season has come to a close). 

With the likes of ESPN dedicating a lot of their airtime to basketball, Americans often resort to watching basketball without an afterthought. Plus, there are tons of huge fans!

Not only are there 30 NBA teams to choose from, but countless college basketball teams. The great thing about American sports is the draft system, meaning that college teams are always brewing potential future NBA heroes. Thanks to this, a lot of people watch college basketball very regularly as well. This just adds to the already very heavy basketball coverage in the US.

In Europe, the coverage is not as extensive. NBA games are still shown in most countries, but never as frequently as they are in the US. Plus, it’s much rarer to find college basketball in a lot of European countries. That being said, the European countries that have a good domestic league get a lot of TV coverage. It’s just not the same primetime position that basketball takes in the US.


Basketball in the news

If you sift through the sports section of a European newspaper, you’ll be hard-pressed to find much basketball coverage. These papers will traditionally be dominated by football and maybe tennis and F1 in most of Western Europe.

It’s a little different out in the East with countries like Latvia, the Czech Republic and Hungary holding pretty strong basketball scenes. In these regions, you’d probably see a bit more basketball newspaper coverage than in Western Europe.

In terms of basketball’s TV news coverage, it’s a similar story to the coverage that the live games themselves receive.


The future of basketball coverage in the US and Europe

Basketball is at peak popularity in the US and it’s going to take a lot of catching up from Europe to get anywhere near the level they’re at on the other side of the ocean. However, basketball popularity in some European countries is up in recent years as people have started to realize just how exciting it can be to watch.

With huge celebrity players such as Michael Jordan and LeBron James making their mark on European culture, basketball is certainly coming further into the limelight in the UK, France and Spain. In years to come, it might well be quite a big deal!

You may also like...