THE National Basketball Association’s return to local television is proving to be a success as it reported a significant increase in TV ratings in the Philippines.

In a release citing data from, the NBA said the viewing audience for the first two weeks of seeding games in the country was up 325% compared to the average regular season ratings.

The increase coincided with Cignal TV, Inc. getting the rights to be the new home of the NBA.

Since the 2019-20 NBA restarted in July after months of hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, league games have been steadily brought to Filipino households by way of free-to-air channels TV5 and One Sports and pay TV over Cignal.

It has filled a huge void for local NBA fans who had to settle watching games since October over the league’s Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as League Pass after the former broadcast partner of the NBA in the country decided not to renew its contract with the league.

The increase in ratings was in line with what Cignal was expecting to deliver when it secured the rights for the NBA.

“With Cignal, awaiting the NBA is our 2.3 million subscribers on pay TV across the country. It can be reassured that we will bring the games to as many people as possible for the NBA to be appreciated some more,” said Robert Galang, president and chief executive officer of Cignal and TV5, in an earlier interview with BusinessWorld.

The NBA said it sees international viewership to continue to increase as the playoffs go deeper.

Apart from the Philippines, other countries posting rating increases were Spain (130%), Mexico (88%), Lithuania (79%) and Italy (29%). — Michael Angelo S. Murillo