The 2016 NBA Playoffs was one for the records books. There were historic comebacks, 3-point records shattered, broadcast rating records eclipsed, and unprecedented chatter on Facebook. The NBA, Playoff teams and media partners combined garnered approximately 1.4 billion video views, 132 million of those views coming from Facebook Live videos. One can’t talk about the Playoffs without discussing one of the most historic NBA Finals. Throughout the NBA Finals, there were 43 million people who took part in the conversation, amassing a new high of 269 million posts, reactions, shares, and comments.
The NBA delivered over 180 Facebook Live videos during the Playoffs and Finals to bring authentic content to fans around the world. From behind the scenes with Muggsy Boghes on his way to Game 1 of the Finals, to Stephen Curry’s pre-game warmups before Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, to exclusive live player interviews throughout the series (like Caron Butler with JR Smith), NBA’s content strategy with Facebook Live helped deliver the most talked about Finals ever and delivered over a quarter of a billion video views in aggregate, an increase of 121% over last year.
In addition, the Cavaliers captured one of the top-performing Facebook Live videos related to sports to date, showcasing the team’s celebration in the locker room following their Game 7 victory. The video has been viewed more than 6.8 million times, while also generating 416,000 reactions, 114,000 shares and 59,000 comments.
After Steph Curry was injured early in the Playoffs. there were major questions as to whether he would be able to suit up. It was known that how Steph’s body responded to his pre-game warm-up would ultimately determine whether or not he played. While NBA TV did several cut-ins on Steph throughout their pre-game broadcast, they could not dedicate a camera on him for the entire show. Along comes Facebook Live. The entire pre-game warm-up was broadcast by NBA TV on Facebook. 23 minutes into the broadcast, NBA TV unveiled that it looked like Curry would play in that game.
Game 7 was a fiercely fought competition. At the beginning of the 4th quarter, NBA on ESPN‘s Countdown Host, Sage Steele, went live from inside Oracle Arena with NBA greats Vince Carter and Chauncey Billups to get their opinion on the game thus far and their predictions on would take home the Larry O’Brien trophy.
NBA TV went live throughout the Playoffs to bring fans to the press conferences in a social setting. Game 7’s press conference garnered more than 450,000 views.
NBA Messenger Bot
In anticipation for Game 1 of the Finals, NBA released an exclusive bot on Messenger to allow highlights to be easily shared. People could simply type team names or athlete names into a message to the bot and receive a custom NBA.com created highlight reel. The bot received more than 250,000 interactions throughout the Finals.