NBA Draws Its Best First-Round Playoff TV Audience Since '14
The NBA during the ’18 playoffs is riding the TV viewership momentum it saw during the regular season, posting its best first round numbers since ’14. National windows across TNT, ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and NBA TV averaged 3.24 million viewers, which is the best mark for the league since ’14 (3.47 million viewers), when five first-round series went to a Game 7. First-round games this year on cable TV were the top shows in their respective primetime windows on 12 of 15 nights. ABC’s Game 7 of Cavaliers-Pacers last Sunday afternoon drew 6.8 million viewers, marking the best first-round game audience since ’16 and best first-round Game 7 on record. TNT also drew 6.07 million viewers for Cavs-Pacers Game 4, which is the best first-round game on cable TV since ’12. For TNT’s slate of 23 first-round games, the net averaged 3.6 million viewers, also up 5%. ESPN/ABC averaged 4.12 million viewers over 15 games, up 5%. Across all RSN broadcasts during the first round, games saw a 17% hike in ratings.