Thursday September 21, 2023
The Best Employers in Sports Survey is Now Open!

ESPN, ABC Set NBA Playoff Ratings Record, TNT Nets Most-Watched Since 2014

  • Broadcasts through the first two rounds have been the most-watched ever on ESPN platforms.
  • Sunday's Celtics-76ers game on ABC was the most-watched Semifinals Game 7 on any network since 2008.
NBA playoff games are averaging 5.2 million viewers on ESPN platforms.
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Front Office Sports Today

Could Promotion-Relegation work in College Football?

The proposal aims to create an exciting media product while reducing travel for non-football sports.
Listen Now
September 21, 2023 | Podcast
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

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.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Deion Sanders and The Rock

Deion Sanders Reshaping College Football Fanbase With Buffaloes Surge

Deion Sanders has made Colorado "Black America's Team."
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is tripped up by New York Jets defensive end Solomon Thomas in the second quarter at AT&T Stadium.

NFL Viewership Sees 2% Increase in First Two Weeks of 2023 Season

The NFL is experiencing its highest viewership since 2018.

How Daktronics Helps Elite Athletic Programs Secure Top Talent

How colleges are utilizing Daktronics' displays to elevate recruiting.

WBD Pursues ‘Different’ Strategy For Sports on Max

Company to place all of its live sports on new streaming tier
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Could Promotion-Relegation work in College Football?


Featured Today

Rupert Murdoch's Exit Leaves Lasting Fox Sports Legacy

Rupert Murdoch steps down as chairman of Fox Corp. and News Corp.
Could ESPN lose events such as the NBA Finals if it sold ABC.
September 21, 2023

Selling ABC Poses Billion-Dollar Dilemma for Disney and ESPN's Future

Losing ABC would create complications as ESPN enters NBA rights negotiations.
Boise State Broncos running back Ashton Jeanty (2) runs the ball against the North Dakota Fighting Hawks during the first half at Albertsons Stadium.
September 20, 2023

The First Official Proposal for Promotion-Relegation In College Football

Realignment is forcing Group of 5 schools to rethink their structure.
A general view of Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Stadium.
September 20, 2023

Political Support Grows for RFK Stadium Bill

The Commanders exited RFK after the 1996 NFL season for FedEx Field.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Chicago Cubs
New York
Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group, Inc.
USA - Multiple Locations
NBC will reportedly pay $287 million annually across five years to air broadcast on USA Network.

NBC Inks WWE SmackDown Rights for Reported $1.4 Billion

The reported rights fee is about 40% higher than SmackDown's Fox deal.
September 20, 2023

Can Amazon Keep Up NFL Viewership Boost After Record Week 1?

The San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants face off on Thursday night.
Deion Sanders
September 19, 2023

Colorado's Epic Victory Sets New ESPN Prime Time Viewership Record

Coach Prime Deion Sanders delivered in prime time on ESPN.
Joe Buck and Troy Aikman
September 18, 2023

'Monday Night Football' Returns To ABC Amid Entertainment Breakdown

ABC will simulcast 15 regular season "Monday Night Football" games.
September 15, 2023

DSG Looks To Use NHL Kings Deal As Reorganization Model

Agreement arrives as bankrupt RSN operator nears deadline for reorganization plan
September 14, 2023

Netflix Fatigue May Be Hitting Sports Docuseries

Netflix cameras won't have full access at the Ryder Cup.
September 14, 2023

NBA Cracks Down On Player Rest Ahead of Multi-Billion Dollar Rights Talks

NBA rest days will be regulated as league prepares for rights talks.
Coc Gauff
September 13, 2023

Coco Gauff Powers ESPN to Record Viewership for Women's Final

The American’s first major win garnered more viewers than the men's final.