NBA 2020-21: NBA viewership across TNT, ESPN, and ABC through MLK Day (27 games) is up 34% vs. the comparable number of games during the 2019-20 season (2.0 million average viewers vs. 1.49 million average viewers), according to Nielsen Media Research.
TNT’s MLK Day tripleheader coverage – featuring the Phoenix Suns vs. Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets, and Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers – averaged 1.73 million viewers, up 32% vs. the network’s comparable MLK Day coverage last season.
The Warriors vs. Lakers game was up 90% vs. last year’s same telecast window. Viewership on NBA League Pass, the league’s live game subscription package, on MLK Day was up 46% vs. last year.
Through MLK Day, NBA League Pass has delivered strong regular-season viewership with average minutes watched increasing 18% vs. the comparable number of games during the 2019-20 season on the platform.
The NBA’s social media platforms have generated record engagement season-to-date, with a 201% increase in minutes watched vs. last year.
Last year the NBA suffered a huge drop in TV ratings
After suffering a rating drop for its championship series, the NBA is carousing its most-watched opening week since 2012, which was led by Christmas Day contests.
The NBA began its shortened 72-game season due to Covid-19 last week, said an aggregate of 3.4 million viewers watched its games from the opening night to Dec. 25.
Strong opening week viewership for the NBA.
Network viewership was up 67% year-over-year.
Social media video viewership was up 36% year-over-year.
The 81.5M hours of game content watched makes this the most-watched opening week since 2011, when the season began on Christmas.
— Alicia Jessop (@RulingSports) December 30, 2020
The 2020 primetime Christmas Day matches on ABC had solid ratings, it still came in lower than last year’s Lakers-Clippers contest which had roughly 8.8 million viewers across ABC and ESPN platforms.
According to the NBA, the Dec. 22 opening night doubleheader on AT&T’s TNT had an average of 2.9 million viewers and made it the most-watched opening night since 2017.
Golden State Warriors bring in a lot of viewership for the NBA
Those games featured the Golden State Warriors against the Brooklyn Nets and the Clippers versus the Lakers. The NBA said its consolidated viewership across TNT, ESPN, and ABC for the 2020 openers was up 67% (3.4 million) corresponded to 2019 when the league NBA averaged 2.2 million for opening week.
NBA is pleased with opening-week TV ratings. It’s the most-watched opening week since 2012 with combined viewership on TNT, ESPN and ABC up 67% vs. last season’s opening week. League Pass viewership also up 67% vs. last season’s opening week.
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) December 30, 2020
The NBA told CNBC spectators viewed 81.5 million hours of live NBA coverage on national media partners’ outlets. That’s up from 41.8 million hours on ESPN and TNT during opening week in 2019.