The BIG3 basketball league is back for another year, and CBS will bring fans all the action across its platforms starting June 18 when the 2022 season tips off.
The BIG3 basketball league has announced the renewal of its partnership with CBS, with the media company returning as the 3-on-3 competition’s primary broadcast partner for the 2022 season. CBS will air 28 hours of live games across its television network and stream on Paramount+ throughout the 12-week campaign that will tip off on June 18.
The league peaked at 1,472,000 viewers during its 2021 championship game at Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Players and coaches who participated included Jarrett Jack, Leandro Barbosa, Dusan Bulut, Joe Johnson, and Julius “Dr. J” Erving, with Stephen Jackson’s Trilogy squad ultimately besting Gary Payton’s 3 Headed Monsters for the title.
“BIG3 is a unique and exciting brand of basketball,” said Dan Weinberg, Executive Vice President of Programming for CBS Sports, in an official release. “The level of competition is incredible and the league continues to grow. We are pleased to have the BIG3 back on our network for the third straight year and are looking forward to all that the 2022 season holds.”
Outside of CBS, the BIG3’s other corporate partners include Microsoft, Taco Bell, Verizon, PNC Bank, Facebook, Burger King, Zip Recruiter, and Monster Energy.
The league also unveiled an alternative approach to ownership by which fans have a chance to own a stake in the BIG3’s 12 teams. Fans can buy in through two tiers, $5,000 at $25,000. Ownership benefits include:
- First rights to expansion teams
- Percentage of future team sale
- Championship game perks for owners of participating teams, including championship rings
- Player and coach meet-and-greets
- Signed “Fireball”
- Access to team practices and after-parties
- Selection of season awards, including Player of the Week and All-Star teams
- Strategy calls with coaches and captains
- Weekly referee call
- Multiple calls with BIG3 co-founders Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz and Commissioner Clyde Drexler
- Special access to BIG3 NFTs
“This is team ownership in the 21st century,” said BIG3 co-founder Ice Cube in a release. “We’ve created a special bond with our fans since our first game in 2017 and this is the natural next step. We want fans to feel even more invested in their favorite squad, more connected to their favorite player, and provide them with the opportunity to grow with us. While other leagues are flirting with fan ownership, none of them have more meat on the bone than BIG3 team owners.”
The new ownership comes after Ice Cube expressed frustration with the NBA not permitting its owners to invest in the BIG3. As NBA spokesperson Mike Bass responded, “We have been supportive and have worked cooperatively with the BIG3 since its inception.”
And so the league has powered forward with its partners and future fan owners. But for now, the BIG3 is excited to lock things in with its broadcast partner.
“CBS is an institution,” said BIG3 CEO Chris Hannan. “They only broadcast the best of the best, and we are thrilled to work with them again as we enter into our fifth season. They understand our vision, see the passion of our fans and players, and have been an instrumental part of the league’s growth. We are looking forward to once again broadcasting the world’s best FIREBALL3 with a first-class partner, and bringing the fire to our fans across the country this summer.”