31 August, 2017
17 September
to read

Basketball fever leads to record viewership in Finland

HELSINKI (FIBA EuroBasket 2017) – Finland may have bowed out of FIBA EuroBasket 2017 on Saturday evening at the hands of Italy, but the long-term legacy of the sport in the Nordic nation is bright.

Finland played host to Group A for the first week of FIBA EuroBasket 2017, making their bid to be a co-host 50 years after they did it the first time, in 1957. It was also a bid based on the strength of the national team program, that has seen Finland make it past the first stage of the three EuroBaskets prior to FIBA EuroBasket 2017.

Hosting the event has already shown invaluable dividends, with record crowds filling out Helsinki Arena and, just as notably, record crowds tuning in to watch from home, as wunderkind Lauri Markkanen took his team on a 4-1 run through the Group Phase, which also included two overtime victories.

Every one of Finland’s games attracted an average television viewership of more than 500,000, with three of their Group Phase games surpassing 600,000. In their victory over Greece, a peak viewership of more than 890,000 was reached – accounting for approximately 16 percent of Finland’s total population.

Their Round of 16 clash with Italy received an average viewership of 534,000, peaking at 734,000.

"The week in Helsinki was simply incredible. We've seen the Susijengi-fever in Finland before, but this time around we reached totally new heights," enthused Head of Communications and Marketing, Mika Makela.

"We are extremely proud that we set the new attendance records for basketball in our country during FIBA EuroBasket 2017, but we are equally proud of the TV-ratings, which exploded in comparison to the previous ones. They are yet another milestone in the long-term progress we are making for our sport in Finland.


One of our main goals for hosting the Group Phase of FIBA EuroBasket 2017 was to build a legacy for basketball," added Makela.

"Even though this is something to be evaluated later, we can safely say that the Finnish basketball family is now bigger than ever and we are excited for the future. With the new competition system and with the upcoming Qualifier windows, we’ll be able to continue with our journey with the fans sooner than later. And that's very exciting."

Finland's World Cup journey tips off against Bulgaria on the road on November 24, before returning home to take on Czech Republic on 27 November.