What is the FIBA World Cup?

The FIBA World Cup is a basketball competition for senior men’s national teams. The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) holds this competition every four years. The 32 teams that participate in the tournament play a total of 92 games over this period. In 2023, the 19th men’s tournament was the first to feature 32 teams, and Germany defeated Serbia in the final.

Early FIBA World Cup champions 

The first competition took place in 1950 with Argentina as the host country. Argentina also became the first world champion. The first five competitions took place in South America, and South American teams dominated. It took a while before other countries like Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union started participating and gave them some competition. 

From 1963 to 1990, the United States, Brazil, Yugoslavia, and the Soviet Union won all the medals. The United States and Yugoslavia have both won the FIBA World Cup a total of five times. 

An official competition app

The release of the official FIBA competition app in 2019 meant that fans from all over the world could access player stats, live scores, and much more. This made things even more exciting for fans in countries like the U.S. In 2023, the app, which is available in seven languages, reached a million downloads. Sports bettors in the U.S. can download a sports betting app and legally place bets on the competition. Using both apps means they will be able to place more informed bets. 

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Qualifying for the World Cup

Since the 2019 World Cup, there’s been a two-year cycle of qualifying. In various qualifying zones, nations are divided into Division A and Division B. European countries have 12 berths and the Americas have seven berths. Asia-Pacific also has seven berths and Africa has five. The host nation also has a berth. In 2023, the competition was hosted by the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia. The co-hosts automatically qualified for the competition. This was the first time it was hosted by more than one nation. 

What is the format?

There have been several different formats through the years. Since 2019, there are 32 teams divided into eight groups of four. The two top teams in each group who take part in the First Round qualify for the Second Round. The top two teams in the four Second Round groups go through to the Quarter-finals. 

After the two group stages is a three-round single elimination game final phase. At each stage, there are also classification games to establish the final rankings of every team that competes. 

In 2023, the U.S., Germany, Serbia, and Canada reached the Semi-Finals. Germany managed to triumph over Serbia in the final to become the current champions. 

Incredible engagement levels 

In 2019, the TV audience for the FIBA World Cup reached three billion and there were 1.5 billion views on social media. FIBA has a streaming partner called Courtside 1891. It was the only platform with access to all the games in the FIBA 2023 World Cup schedule. Fans were able to watch the action on multiple devices.

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The 2023 World Cup saw incredible levels of engagement in terms of attendance, broadcasts, digital platforms, and social media channels. Games are broadcast in many countries, and there were plenty of nail-biting moments as they tuned in to watch the action. Fans also attended games in record numbers.

The appetite for basketball is growing

The 2023 FIBA World Cup attracted millions of new fans. The appetite across the world for basketball is growing. Many U.S. sports fans are eagerly looking forward to the next NBA season. Key dates for the NBA next year are out, and the regular season will begin in October and end in April 2024.