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Sunday, July 14, 2024

NBA Playoffs’ Opening Weekend Ratings Highest In More Than a Decade

  • Viewership was up 37% over last year's first weekend of games.
  • Sunday's Nets-Celtics game averaged 6.9 million viewers.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Ratings for the opening weekend of the NBA Playoffs soared with an average of 4.05 million viewers across ABC, ESPN, and TNT, marking the most-watched first playoff weekend since 2011.

Leading the way was Sunday’s Nets-Celtics thriller on ABC, which averaged 6.9 million viewers (3.1 rating) and peaked at 9.8 million, making it the most-viewed first-round game since 2016.

Opening-weekend viewership collectively rose 37% from last year (2.95 million) and 41% from 2019 (2.88 million), according to Sports Media Watch

In 2020, the postseason was forced to begin on a Monday in August after the season was delayed due to the pandemic.

TNT’s Sunday night game between the defending champion Bucks and Bulls drew the largest opening-round postseason audience on cable since 2018, averaging 4.77 million viewers and a 2.2 rating, per Sports Media Watch.

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