The National Basketball Association’s new season got off to a strong start, with its opening night games on TNT drawing 2.85 million viewers Tuesday, up 1% from a year ago.
The NBA opening night audience was the largest since 2017, according to Nielsen data.
Viewership was also up 5% from when the NBA restarted play in July for the 2019-20 season after being shut down by COVID-19.
The gains came despite a 13% drop in overall primetime viewership.
TNT’s share was up 5% from a year ago and the network was the most-viewed TV network--including broadcast--for most of the key advertising demos, including adults 18-34, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54.
On the court, the Brooklyn Nets beat the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers topped the defending champion L.A. Lakers.
The NBA was also hot on social media, with @NBA being the most-viewed account on Instagram with 58 million viewers, up 146 from opening night a year ago.
The league’s #NBAJerseyDay promotion, highlighted by a video compilation of celebrities wearing their favorite team’s jerseys drew 2.6 million engagements and 21 million views across the NBA's social platforms.
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