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Volume 25 No. 194
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NBA Playoff Audience Rolling With Best Conference Semis Since '13

The four conference semifinals series across TNT, ABC and ESPN averaged 4.8 million viewers
Photo: NBAE/getty images

The NBA's TV numbers have kept humming through two rounds of the playoffs. Games on national TV are averaging 3.64 million viewers through the conference semifinals, up 2% from the same period last season (3.57 million viewers). NBA Playoff games have won the night on cable TV 18 nights, and across all of TV on three nights. Meanwhile, the four conference semifinals series across TNT, ABC and ESPN averaged 4.8 million viewers, which is the best mark for the second round since '13, despite none of the series going past five games. This year also is up 4% from 4.59 million viewers last season. Last week (ending May 6), NBA Playoff games accounted for nine of the 10 most-viewed programs on cable TV. TNT alone averaged 4.9 million viewers for 12 second-round games, which is the net's best average since '13 (just under 5 million viewers). ESPN averaged only 3.64 million viewers for the second round, as it only had four telecasts (none past a Game 3). That is the net's lowest conference semifinal round in at least a decade. The net had at least one conference semifinal Game 6 in each of those years.