TNT's Opening NBA Doubleheader Up Slightly From '18-19 Debut
The opening night of the '19-20 NBA season averaged 2.85 million viewers on TNT for a doubleheader that featured Pelicans-Raptors and Lakers-Clippers. That figure is up slightly from last year (2.82 million), when opening night (76ers-Celtics and Thunder-Warriors) was missing LeBron James for the first time since '14. The doubleheader was down 42% from the start of the '17-18 season, when the doubleheader featured Celtics-Cavaliers and Rockets-Warriors. TNT did see big gains among males 18-34 (+26%). Hurting Tuesday night's overall number was competition from World Series Game 1 on Fox, the lack of numbers from the Toronto market (not measured by Nielsen) and the absence of Pelicans F Zion Williamson due to injury. While the early window featuring Pelicans-Raptors was the most-watched NBA regular-season game ever in Canada, it was the least-watched opening night game for the NBA in at least a decade (2.25 million). In the late window, Lakers-Clippers (3.58 million) was up big (+32%) from Thunder-Warriors last year (2.72 million).