HomeBasketballLakers-Warriors Game Draws 5.6 Million Viewers But Sees 25% Drop In TV Audiences

Lakers-Warriors Game Draws 5.6 Million Viewers But Sees 25% Drop In TV Audiences

Lakers-Warriors Game Draws 5.6 Million Viewers But Sees 25% Drop In TV Audiences

ESPN has announced that the National Basketball Association (NBA) play-in game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors was the most-watched game in the league since 2019.

ESPN reported that the game drew an average of 5.6 million American viewers, peaking at 6.1 million viewers.

The last time an ESPN broadcasted NBA game totalled higher than those numbers was game 3 from the 2019 Western Conference Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers.

NBA also reported that the game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the San Antonio Spurs averaged 2.3 million viewers.

Turner reported that the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards game averaged 2.5 million viewers, with the lowest of the first four games being the Charlotte Hornets and Indiana Pacers fixture, averaging 1.4 million viewers.

In other NBA figures news, and the league has experienced a decline in TV audiences, losing 25% of viewers over the last two seasons, with a drop of 14% between the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons and followed by a 10% decline from the 2019-20 season to the 2020-21 season.

According to Nielsen, the 168 regular season NBA games broadcasted on ABC, ESPN and TNT in the 2020-21 season averaged 1.3 million viewers with the average draw of an ABC broadcasted game being 2.7 million viewers, a significant decline from last season at a 3 million viewer average.

The NBA started strong in the opening week of the 2020/21 NBA season recording 81.5 million viewership hours across TNT, ABC, and ESPN, the highest since the 2011/12 season.

While the NBA does have alternative distribution channels such as NBA league pass and local/international affiliates, linear TV accounts for close to 95% of the NBA’s overall audience.

The playoffs are expected to boost the TV audience however considering the six-game 2020 NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat averaged 7.5 million viewers.

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