On the eve of its first round of playoffs, the NBA says it had its most-viewed TV season in five years -- 8% higher than a year ago. The NBA’s national TV revenues were also up.
The league says average national viewing was at a Nielsen 1.28 million versus 1.19 million across four TV networks: ABC, TNT, ESPN, and NBA TV -- the highest since the 2013-2014 NBA regular season.
ABC witnessed a 17% gain to 3.9 million viewers, while TNT was 12% higher to 1.8 million and ESPN had 5% more to 1.7 million. The league said its NBA TV inched up 1% in average viewers.
The NBA’s local regional sports networks grew 4% to an average 2.4 household rating.
This year, the NBA's regular-season national TV advertising revenues were up 11% to $698.6 million versus $631.6 of a year ago, according to iSpot.tv.
The top five advertisers this year: State Farm ($26.3 million, 1,444 airings of its commercials); Playstation ($18.0 million, 676 airings); Taco Bell ($17.9 million, 1,062 airings); Burger King ($16.8 million, 1,378 airings); and Verizon ($14.7 million, 1,179 airings).
Other big spenders include: Metro PCS ($14.1 million, 559 airings); YouTube ($13.6 million, 289 airings); Sprint ($12.9 million, 489 airings); Toyota ($12.1 million, 352 airings); Heineken ($9.96 million, 408 airings); and GEICO ($9.7 million, 520 airings).
The first round of NBA playoff games begins Saturday, April 14.