NBA Playoffs: 38 Games Averaging 2 Million Viewers, National TV Ad Spend $290.6 Million

About halfway through the NBA playoffs (without the NBA Finals), 38 games have averaged 1.96 million Nielsen-measured viewers, with national TV advertising spending comparable to a year ago.

ABC has aired two of the games, averaging 3.6 million Nielsen-measured viewers, while TNT has aired 24 games, averaging 1.9 million, and ESPN has had 12 games, averaging 1.8 million. 

Two additional games, on NBA TV, averaged 285,000 viewers. All games are playing in the ESPN Wide World of Sports facility in Orlando due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some $290.6 million in national TV advertising spend has been spent halfway through the playoffs so far, according to This is comparable to a year ago, when the entire NBA playoffs -- 76 games a year ago -- pulled in $634.2 million in national TV advertising.



Looking at the entire regular season this year -- the pre-pandemic period from October 22, 2019 to March 11, 2020 and the restart season, July 30 through August 14 --  iSpot says national TV advertising totaled $770.4 million -- 6% higher than the $726 million in estimated spend for previous regular season (2018-2019).

Pre-pandemic -- from October to March 11 -- the league ran 625 brands, totaling $540.9 million in national TV advertising, totaling 23.6 billion impressions.

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