NBA Seeing Audience Increase For Conference Finals Telecasts Through Sunday
The NBA Conference Finals have averaged a 4.3 rating and 6.8 million viewers for games across ABC/ESPN/TNT through Sunday, up from a 4.0 rating and 6.2 million viewers at the same point in '13. On nights that either TNT or ESPN have had games, the nets have been tops among all cable networks on 26 of 33 nights through this past Sunday. TNT has been top cable net each night during the WCF, and was the top program on cable for the entire day on Sunday. TNT is averaging a 3.9 final rating and 6.3 million viewers through three games of the Spurs-Thunder NBA Western Conference Finals, which included blowout wins for the Spurs in Games 1 and 2. TNT last year had the Heat-Pacers series and was averaging a 4.7 rating and 7.5 million viewers. Two years ago, TNT had a 4.7 rating and 7.5 million viewers through three games. ESPN/ABC, which had the Spurs-Grizzlies WCF last year, was averaging a 3.1 rating and 4.8 million viewers through three games (Game 1 was on ABC). Meanwhile, ESPN/ABC is averaging a 4.6 rating and 7.3 million viewers through four games of the Heat-Pacers Eastern Conference Finals, up big from the comparable Spurs sweep of the Grizzlies in the WCF last year. Two years ago, ESPN alone (no ABC telecast) carried the Heat-Celtics ECF, averaging a 5.7 rating and 9.2 million viewers through four games. For the complete NBA Playoffs through Sunday, games across ABC/ESPN/TNT/ESPN2/NBA TV have averaged 4.1 million viewers, up 5% from 3.9 million viewers at the same point last year.
A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME: Data for Nielsen Social also shows that to date, there have been more than 26 million tweets by fans during NBA Playoff games. Additionally, 79 out of the 80 total Playoff games to date have ranked in the top 10 of the most-discussed daily TV programs on Twitter, including 18 games ranking No. 1 overall.