Basketball is one of the most liked sports globally. This is mainly because it’s one of the most engaging and captivating games around the world. The sport is viewed by millions of people and attended by thousands of fans. In line with this, the National Basketball Association (NBA) is one of the highly competitive competitions in the world.

NBA is a globally famous basketball league and earns viewers worldwide. It’s a stage where the greatest basketball players in the world meet. There are so many exciting moments and plays like dunks, posterizations, blocks, buzzer beaters, etc.

Thankfully, the organizing body of the NBA made it accessible for everyone, whether it is live on TV or at the basketball court. So, to understand NBA viewership, Real Research had conducted a survey. The survey started on December 24 and ended on December 26, 2020.


  • About 77% of the respondents watch basketball games live or on-screen.
  • Almost 70% play basketball and consider themselves basketball fans.
  • The majority of people who took the survey have at least some knowledge about basketball rules.
  • Around 27% follow and watch basketball frequently.
  • Los Angeles Lakers is the favorite team of more than 30% of the respondents.
  • More than 25% think Lebron James is the NBA’s best player.
  • 37% tend to like the team where their favorite players belong to.
  • The majority pay for live NBA game tickets or live streaming subscriptions.

The data collected from the Real Research survey shows that around 70% of people play basketball, and the remaining 30% don’t play. Among these people who took the survey, 65% are single, 32% are married, 1.5% are separated, and 1.3% are in a domestic partnership.

Additionally, 19-29 years old are the group with the largest number (11,150) of respondents followed by 29-39 years old (5,925). Following this is the group of people from 49 to 60 and above. The survey was dominated by males (82%) as female respondents only take a small number (17%).

Distinctly, we can see that people who play basketball are young and mostly single men. However, it doesn’t exclude others who also play to keep their physical form or just have fun.

Furthermore, out of the 20,000 people who took the survey, 11,115 are from 19 to 29 years old. The second is the group of people aged from 29 to 39 and then 39 to 60 comes third, and lastly, the group of 60 plus. This means the NBA is drawing the attention of many young people around the world regardless of their relationship status.

77% People Watch Basketball Live or On-Screen

There are several great matches throughout NBA history — some matches are just too captivating for some fans to ignore. The NBA finals are the pinnacle of basketball worldwide, so those games draw the most attention.

According to the survey, 15,322 (77%) respondents watch basketball games live or on-screen. The rest of the population, 4,678 (23%), said that they don’t watch basketball matches live nor on-screen.

Basketball Fans Follow and Watch NBA Games

Nearly 69% of the respondents consider themselves basketball fans. This shows that basketball is watched and known worldwide. However, not everyone who watches basketball matches is a fan. That’s why 30% of people who took the survey don’t consider themselves fans of basketball.

Real Research Survey Insights

A regular basketball team has 12 players, with five players on the court at any given time. Moreover, unlimited substitutions are permitted. The five players can be separated into the following positions: point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center.

People have been asked to rate their basketball rules expertise. 31% answered that their knowledge can be considered as professional-level. 27% said they are on the intermediate-level, while 24% responded that they have fair knowledge only. Aside from these people, 10% said their expertise is poor, while less than 10% revealed that they are not aware of the rules at all.

In detail, each team plays 82 games in a normal NBA season. Eight teams from each of the two leagues qualify for the playoffs. The loser of the Seven-Eight Game will host the Nine-Ten Game winner in a Play-In Game. So, the victor of that game will be the eighth seed in the playoffs for its conference. As a result, there are almost 100 NBA games.

When asked if they do follow NBA games, 24% said they “always” watch the matches. On the other hand, 23% replied that they “often” watch the games, 29% “sometimes” follow the games, 13% follow them “occasionally”, and 11% never follow any NBA matches.

When asked how frequently do they watch NBA games live or on-screen, 26% of the respondents replied that they watch the games on average of 1 to 3 hours a day. Meanwhile, 19% watch the matches for more than 3 hours daily. In addition, 18% only view the games weekly and 7% view a few times in a month. Aside from these respondents, 6% only watch the games monthly, and 11% watch NBA games about twice a year.

The outcome of this data shows how much people care to watch NBA games, whether it is live or on TV.

Real Research Survey Insights

When respondents were asked if they pay for live NBA games tickets or live streaming subscriptions, the majority (59%) said that they pay for tickets and streaming subscriptions. However, 41% replied that they don’t pay for any of the above.

The result of this data shows that the live NBA game tickets or live streaming subscriptions are not affordable for everyone.

Real Research Survey Insights

Los Angeles Lakers: The Favorite Team of NBA Fans

There are many teams, but only a few are getting attention. This is a common situation in almost all kinds of sports. Those who are popular are typically clubs that have been continuously performing well and maintaining their ranks on top. Therefore, it makes them the favorite teams of many fans. However, it doesn’t mean others are not performing well.

Los Angeles Lakers is the favorite team of the majority of the respondents (30%). Second is Portland Trail (13%), followed by Atlanta Hawks (12%), and Philadelphia 76ers (12%). The 26 of the remaining teams have also made it to the list of favorite teams of many people who took the survey. But, 7% disclosed that they don’t have any favorite team.

Real Research Survey Insights

Lebron James: The NBA’s Best Player

There are a few names that link directly to basketball. Among them is Lebron James, one of the best all-time NBA players. When asked to choose who is the best NBA player, Lebron James received 5,077 votes (25%). Kawhi Leonard follows him with 3,894 votes (19%). In the third place is James Harden with 2,602 (13%). Giannis Antekokounmpo comes closely to Harden with 2,460 votes (12%). Also, Stephen Curry made it to the list with 1,832 (9%).

All the names above are basketball talents and players who have worked hard to reach their level of expertise and reputation.

Some basketball fans are biased when it comes to their favorite players. It is the case of 37% of people who responded that they like the team where their favorite players belong to. Besides, 27% replied that somehow it is a coincidence that their favorite players are part of their favorite teams.

On the contrary, 16% tend to look at the team’s play strategy and overall performance. However, 7% tend to look at the team manager. The rest replied that their favorite player is different from their favorite team.


Survey TitleNBA Viewership Survey
DurationDecember 24-26, 2020
Number of Participants20,000
DemographicsMale and female, aged 19 to 60+
Participating Countries (128)Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Angola Anguilla, Antarctica, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, AzerbaijanBahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan,Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.