The first round of the NBA Playoffs is in the books, and the league saw a major increase in viewership for those games.
Austin Karp of Sports Business Journal reported Tuesday that an average of 2.99 million viewers across ABC, TNT, ESPN and NBA TV tuned in for the 43 contests. It’s the best average audience for the first round since 2018. Viewership is also up 12% from last year and 55% from the pandemic playoffs in the Walt Disney World bubble.
TNT’s average of 3.34 million is the network’s best since 2018, and ESPN, which also averaged 3.34 million, is their best since 2014.
The series-opening game between the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics was the most-watched game of the first round. The ABC telecast averaged 6.9 million. The next best game was also on ABC, Game 4 between the Golden State Warriors and the Denver Nuggets at 5.9 million.
TNT’s most-watched game was Game 1 between the Chicago Bulls and the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks, which averaged 4.7 million.
NFL Considers Ending Pro Bowl Amidst Low Ratings
“Mark Maske of The Washington Post reports the future of the Pro Bowl was discussed on Tuesday during the owners’ meetings in Atlanta.”
The NFL is obsessed with TV ratings. It isn’t a surprise that the league may not be willing to tolerate the Pro Bowl underperforming for much longer.
In 2022, the NFL’s all-star game produced it’s lowest ratings in 16 years. Fewer that 7 million people tuned in to watch the game across ABC, ESPN and DisneyXD.
“The (Pro Bowl) game doesn’t work,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday after the owners’ meeting in Atlanta. “We need to find another way to celebrate the players.”
There are two proposed alternatives that have been reported. The Washington Post says the league is considering launching a seven-on-seven competition. It would not include tackling or full clocks. The other report comes from Ian Rapport of the NFL Network. He says the league is considering hosting a series of skills competitions over the course of what would be branded an all-star week. The NFL has partnered with DirecTV in the past to present similar events during Super Bowl Week.
No details have emerged or final decisions made. Mark Maske of The Washington Post reports the future of the Pro Bowl was discussed on Tuesday during the owners’ meetings in Atlanta.