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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Game 1 of Lakers-Warriors Sets Ratings Tone With Record-Breaking Mark

  • Lakers-Warriors averaged 7.4 million viewers on TNT's Game 1 broadcast.
  • Game 2 of Heat-Knicks drew 4.7 million viewers on TNT.
Lakers-Warriors draw record ratings.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The first NBA Playoff series between LeBron James and Steph Curry in five years is on track to produce mega-TV numbers for Warner Bros. Discovery Sports’ TNT and The Walt Disney Co’s ESPN.

Despite a late start time of 10 p.m. ET, TNT pulled record-breaking viewership for Game 1 of their Western Conference Semifinal Tuesday night. 

  • TNT averaged 7.4 million viewers, with viewership peaking at 8 million between 11 p.m. and 11:15 p.m. ET. That made it the most-watched Western Conference Semifinal ever on cable television.
  • Lakers vs. Warriors was also the most-watched Conference Semifinal game on TNT in over a decade. It was the No. 1 program of the night across broadcast and cable TV. 
  • The New York Knicks-Miami Heat Eastern Conference Semifinal averaged 4.7 million viewers in the evening. The Charles Barkley-led “Inside the NBA” pregame show pulled 2.2 million viewers. 
  • Through five games, TNT’s Conference Semifinals courage is up 18% from last year. This year, TNT’s overall playoff coverage is up 10% to 3.8 million average viewers.   

ESPN will televise Game 2 of Lakers-Warriors Thursday night from San Francisco, with an earlier tipoff time of 9 p.m. ET.

James and Curry previously went head-to-head in the NBA Finals four years in a row from 2015-2018.

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