Games will be shown on CBS and CBS Sports Network, with more than 20 hours throughout the season on the former and more than 25 hours on the latter.
The 2019 season, the league’s third, is set to open on CBS in primetime on Saturday, June 22. During the 11-week season, games will air live on CBS Television Network and CBS Sports Network on both Saturday and Sunday, with the championship game on September 1.
CBS Sports Network will also air the Big3 Draft live on May 1, when 120 professional players will vie for only 31 open roster spots on 12 teams, expanded from eight the first two seasons.
In 2018, according to today’s announcement, average arena attendance for the emerging league exceeded 14,000, up from 11,000 in its debut year. Big3 this year will play in 18 cities, up from 10 each of the two previous years. Three games will be played at each location, two days per weekend (for a total of six games).
“Since day 1, Big3 has always been about hard-nosed, fierce competition. Now we’re ramping it up with more teams, younger players, and a shiny new TV deal with CBS Sports,” said Ice Cube. “Our first two years were about showing that our vision was credible. This year is about taking the game to a whole new level. This is a big deal.”
“The enthusiasm of the Big3 from sports pioneer Sean McManus and his team of, David Berson, Dan Weinberg, and Greg Trager was infectious,” said Big3 Co-Founder Jeffrey Kwatinetz. “The future is bright for the Big3, and it’s an incredible advantage to build on the success of the Big3 by partnering with the number one network and drawing off the experience of the team that broadcasts some of the biggest and most prestigious championship games in sports.”
“We’re excited to partner with such an exciting and fast-growing league that showcases some of the most recognizable basketball players in the world,” said Dan Weinberg, EVP of Programming, CBS Sports. “Adding multiple hours of Big3 coverage during the summer to both CBS and CBS Sports Network – including direct lead-ins – establishes more synergy and continuity between the broadcast and cable network, while delivering these action-packed games to a national audience throughout the entire season.”
During the offseason, Big3 added some noteworthy players to the league, including Jason Terry, Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Kendrick Perkins, Shannon Brown, Gilbert Arenas, Al Jefferson and Lamar Odom. Returning standouts include Amar’e Nate Robinson, Stephen Jackson, Carlos Boozer, Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis and Metta World Peace.
Coaches include household names such as Julius Erving, Gary Payton, Nancy Lieberman, Rick Barry, Lisa Leslie, and George Gervin.
In addition to Ice Cube and Kwatinetz, the league will continue to be guided by Chairman Amy Trask and Commissioner Clyde Drexler.