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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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NBA Scores Most-Watched First-Round Game In 24 Years

  • Game 7 of Warriors vs. Kings pulls nearly 10 million viewers for ABC.
  • TNT to televise Game 1 of Lakers vs. Warriors tonight.
Steph Curry delivers record NBA ratings.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Playoffs are gaining TV momentum heading into tonight’s marquee matchup between LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers vs. Steph Curry’s Golden State Warriors.

Sunday afternoon’s Game 7 of the Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings was the league’s most-watched first-round game in 24 years.

With Steph Curry of the Warriors pouring in 50 points, ABC’s telecast averaged 9.8 million viewers – peaking at 11.9 million. That made it ABC’s biggest audience ever for a non-NBA Finals telecast.

The Warriors-Kings series sets the table for the second-round matchup between the Lakers and Curry’s defending champion Warriors, which could draw bigger TV numbers than some NBA Finals games. 

Warner Bros Discovery Sports TNT will offer a powerhouse doubleheader tonight, featuring Game 2 of the New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by Game 1 of Lakers-Warriors at 10 p.m. ET.

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Overall, the NBA rang up its most-watched first round in nine years across The Walt Disney Co.’s ABC/ESPN, TNT, and the league’s own NBA TV. More:

  • The NBA’s first-round games averaged 3.4 million viewers, up 15% from last year.
  • Disney’s ABC/ESPN delivered their most-watched first round ever. Games averaged 4.5 million viewers, up 18%. 
  • TNT had its most-watched first round in five years, averaging 3.5 million viewers. That’s up 6% from last year. 
  • The NBA App and NBA social generated a record 2.6 billion video views during the first round. That’s up 46% from 2022. The redesigned NBA App had its most ever users on a single day on Sunday.  
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