Both the NBA and NHL are drawing significantly larger prime-time TV audiences than prior to the pandemic, according to recent Nielsen data. Since the NBA restarted July 30, it’s drawing prime-time audiences 80% larger than prior to the March 11 suspension.
The NHL has approximately doubled its prime-time viewership since the season restart.
Prime-time ratings have been the best comparison, as overall ratings for both leagues have been down because of unusual afternoon start times for many games. Still, 13 NBA games were in Nielsen’s top 25 programs this summer.
Advertisers have spent $290.6 million on national NBA broadcasts halfway through the playoffs — that’s on pace with the $634.2 million spent across the playoffs last year, according to iSpot.tv.
Most-Watched TV Programs Among 18 to 49 Year Olds Since June 20:
- Thunder-Rockets (Game 7): 2.234 million
- Trail Blazers-Lakers (Game 1): 2.113 million
- Clipper-Lakers (regular season game): 2.055 million
- Trail Blazers-Lakers (Game 2): 1.827 million
- Lakers-Trail Blazers (Game 4): 1.762 million