NBA, ESPN Boast Most-Watched 1st Round Since 2014

    • Ratings are spiking just as the league seeks $75 billion for its new media rights in 2025.
    • The league averaged 1.6 million viewers across ABC, ESPN, and TNT — the most since 2018-19.

The NBA has started negotiating for a new media rights deal for 2025 — and the league has built a stronger case to bring in the $75 billion its asking from Turner Sports and ESPN.

Per ESPN, this postseason was the most-watched first round of the NBA Playoffs since 2014 and third-most since 2003.

The network’s eight games averaged 3.34 million viewers — up 28% from 2021 and 69% from 2020 — tough both of those seasons were shortened due to COVID-19.

Regular-season viewership across ABC, ESPN, and TNT increased by 19% from the 2020-21 season — the 1.6 million viewers represented the league’s highest average since 2018-19. 

Other outlets like NBA League Pass saw a 30% spike in subscribers, and the league’s social media platforms garnered 13 billion video plays, a 7% increase from last year.

ESPN’s weekday studio show “NBA Today” is up 33% compared to last year.