The NBA’s enjoying its highest-viewed season since the before the 2011 lockout. According to Nielsen ratings, the League’s TV viewership is up 32 percent, impressive for an era of viewers that are beginning to tune out the NFL and the MLB.
The Thanksgiving-eve Warriors vs. Thunder game was ESPN’s most watched regular season game (3.2 million people) since Christmas 2016. TNT’s opening night broadcast game with the Cavs and Celtics ranks as the second-most watched season-opening telecast in the TNT’s history, pulling in an average of 5.6 million viewers. Those numbers come from USA Today’s report.
The NBA’s views can be traced back to its almost year-long news cycle that covers gameplay, the draft, free agency and trades. Teams in major markets like the Knicks and Lakers have also been attributed in the League’s resurgence, as well as a new crop of stars, led by the supremely-talented and entertaining Giannis Antetokounmpo.
h/t USA Today