The NBA first round is well underway, and the ratings are outpacing the 2020 Bubble by a massive margin. According to Sports Media Watch, the first eight games of this postseason are up 49 percent over last year’s first eight.
The action on opening weekend was spread across ABC, ESPN, and TNT, and averaged 2.89 million viewers. Conjecture can surmise that last season’s action was hurt in the ratings department both by the less-than-stellar, fanless atmosphere, as well as the fact the first eight games aired on Monday and Tuesday. The last traditional postseason, 2019, was slightly below the 2021 figures at a 2.84 million average.
The largest draws of the weekend were headlined by some of the premiere teams and markets on ABC. On Saturday on ABC, Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers taking on the Phoenix Suns was the top biller with a 2.4 rating and 4.43 million viewers. It was more than any game in the Bubble last season, and a 14 percent jump in viewers from Thunder-Blazers in the same time slot in 2019. It was also the fifth-largest viewing audience for an NBA game in the 2020-2021 season. The Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets tilt was second on the weekend with a 2.1 ratings and 3.82 million viewers.
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Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.
NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC
“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”
This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.