How Popular is the NBA in Singapore and Other Asian Countries?

Basketball is a game that was created by the Americans but has, over the years, started to leave a global footprint in the sports world. Now in 2022, we can indeed say it is a global sport. One of the main reasons for this is its growing popularity in Asia and its key markets; such as China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Singapore. 

The Research Doesn’t Lie

A leader in online marketing research in Asia found that basketball made the top 5 of popular sports on the continent – with it being the top sport in the Philippines. 

In fact, more than half of the people surveyed said they were basketball fans. A  Basketball Association in the Philippines was even started as far back as 1975. It was the first-ever basketball league in Asia that was professional and is still surviving and thriving, second only to the National Basketball Association in America.


Next to badminton, basketball is one of the more favored sports, mostly because of highly regarded and well-loved Taiwanese players like Jeremy Lin. Lin has not only had an incredible career in basketball and the NBA in particular, but he continues to run basketball camps in Taiwan for the youths that wish to train and potentially make it professionally.

China and Singapore

Basketball comes in fourth place behind badminton in China, while first and second place is taken by swimming and table tennis respectively. 

In Singapore, it is neck and neck with a national pastime, table tennis, still making it part of the top five most popular sports in the country. This was largely due to  Yao Ming being picked by the Houston Rockets, and Jeremy Lin following in his wake.  

Gender Reveal

When looking at basketball from a gender perspective, the market research revealed that no matter the gender, the Philippines still has the biggest Asian fanbase. There is a bigger interest in basketball amongst males in Singapore and Taiwan, whilst China comes in at fourth place for males and females.  

The Most Beloved Basketball Team 

Looking at where basketball is the top sport, the Philippines, the one team that came out on top is the Golden State Warriors. Second and third were The Lakers and Cavaliers, followed closely by the Bulls. Teams local to the country, Ginebra and Gilas, had a vote of 7% and 5% in popularity respectively. Star players Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant featured as some of the reasons why, but most participants mentioned the team’s great work ethic as the reason they liked them the most. 

The Start of a Beautiful Friendship

If that wasn’t enough to convince, Singapore-based communication and digital service company called Starhub, which also has a hand in entertainment and cyber security, announced in 2019 that it would be partnering with the NBA to bring games and programming to fans in Singapore during the season. 

Named the official broadcast partner of the NBA in Singapore, Starhub shows at least seven live games a week through NBA TV – the dedicated NBA channel.  It will also broadcast Playoff games, Conference Finals and the Finals. You can also live stream through the Starhub Go app. 

Online NBA Betting 

If you are looking to profit off of your favorite team, NBA betting in the US  (and online sportsbooks) is extremely popular, as it offers punters a chance to win big and it is extremely convenient. 

Most of these online sportsbooks allow NBA fans to use their mobile devices to place a wager and make use of in-browser apps. What this means is that there is no need to download any betting app if you don’t want to. Always bear in mind that any reputable site is licensed and regulated. 

NBA betting sites not only offer a variety of betting options, but they also have wide coverage of betting markets, so punters have many options available to them. 

If you are looking for a good NBA betting site, try to find one that offers statistics, so you can make an informed decision. Additionally, sportsbooks generally provide expert betting tips for patrons. Better than that, many digital wagering sites for the NBA come with a live-streaming feature, so you can watch the game unfold in real-time. 

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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