The National Basketball Association’s later-than-usual start to its new season was a slam dunk, with viewership of the NBA's opening week games on national TV up 67%.
The opening week games--including the Kia-sponsored Tip-Off--drew an average of 3.4 million viewers on TNT, ESPN and ABC, compared to 2 million who tuned into opening week last year, which ran from Oct. 22 to Oct. 25.
ESPN’s Christmas Day Games were up 10% from a year ago, averaging 2.83 million viewers. ABC’s game on Dec. 25 between the Lakers and Mavericks averaged 7.01 million viewers.
The Lakers-Mavericks game was the most watched show in network prime time that day. ESPN's Pelicans-Heat game was the most watched show on cable.
The strong opening comes amid lower ratings this TV season on broadcast and cable. It also follows a tough season for the NBA, which was disrupted and pushed competition with other sports including the NFL by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NBA said its NBA League Pass subscription service had a 67% increase in average minutes watched for opening week. The league’s social media platforms generated record engagement with a 36% increase in video views and a 279% increase in minutes watched compared to last year.
The television industry's top news stories, analysis and blogs of the day.
Thank you for signing up to Broadcasting & Cable. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.