Basketball is coming to Facebook this NBA offseason after Fox Sports signed a deal with the social platform to live stream games of Ice Cube’s Big3 league, which pits former NBA stars against each other in three-on-three street-style matches.
Beginning June 22, one Big3 game will exclusively stream on Facebook free of charge each week throughout the 2018 season, which runs until Aug. 24, Variety reports. Those games will lead into three more matches, which will broadcast exclusively on Fox or FS1 throughout the regular season and playoffs.
In total, Facebook will get streaming rights to nine games, available on the Big3 on Fox page, as well as game recaps and highlight segments for all 37 games of the season, including the championship game.
The Big3 league launched last year, co-founded by Ice Cube and his manager, Jeff Kwatinetz. The games are determined by whichever team reaches 50 points first, and features quirks like a four-point line from 30 feet from the net.
“Given that our fans had an average age of more than 10 years younger than typical basketball fans, we want to provide digital viewing experiences so they can engage with our league in a format that best suits their viewing preferences,” Kwatinetz, who serves as Big3 co-CEO, said in a statement, according to Variety.
“Basketball conversation doesn’t have an off-season on our platform, so we’re excited for these social-first broadcasts to amplify this engagement over the summer,” Devi Mahadevia, Facebook’s live sports programming lead for North America, added.
The league has recruited a number of former NBA stars, including Amar’e Stoudemire, Baron Davis, Kenyon Martin, Stephen Jackson, Chauncey Billups, Metta World Peace, and Nate Robinson.
Facebook’s first game on the 22nd will see Mike Bibby’s Ghost Ballers face off against Rashard Lewis’ 3 Headed Monsters.