This year’s first two rounds of the NBA Playoffs have been ratings hits for ESPN and TNT.
Across 27 NBA Playoff games on ESPN platforms (including ABC), broadcasts are averaging 5.2 million viewers, making it the most-watched NBA Playoffs ever on ESPN platforms and a 14% viewership increase over last year’s coverage.
ABC’s telecast of the Boston Celtics’ 24-point Game 7 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday delivered the network’s largest NBA conference semifinals audience since 2011. It was also the most-watched conference semifinal game on any network since 2008, with 8,441,000 average viewers and peaking at 10,165,000 viewers.
TNT’s NBA playoff broadcasts have been its most-watched since 2014, per Sports TV Ratings. Through two rounds, games on TNT are averaging 4.1 million viewers—a 10% increase over last year. The second-round games alone on TNT averaged 5.3 million viewers, the most for the network since 2012 and a 16% jump over last year.
Disney’s ESPN/ABC and Warner Bros. Discovery’s TNT will look to retain NBA rights once the league’s current media rights deals expire after the 2024-25 season. The NBA will seek a combined $50 billion to $75 billion in rights fees, with potential suitors also expected to span NBC Sports, Amazon, Apple, and Google/YouTube.