NBA's First-Week Ratings Highest Since 2012


National TV ratings for the first week of the new NBA season -- December 22-25 -- showed strong viewership versus the first week of the season a year ago (October 22- 25) -- up a strong 67%, according to the league.

It was the highest first week of TV viewing for the league since 2012.

Nine national games airing on TNT, ESPN, and ABC averaged 3.4 million Nielsen-measured viewers, versus 2.0 million viewers for the Kia Motors-sponsored “Kia NBA Tip-Off 2020” week.

The three games on ABC Television Network this year were one major reason for the increase.

Key games over that period included the Christmas Day game on ABC and ESPN between the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers, which averaged 7.01 million viewers -- 5.7 million on ABC and 1.3 million on ESPN.

A TNT doubleheader on December 22 -- the Golden State Warriors versus the Brooklyn Nets (2.7 million) and the LA Clippers versus the Los Angeles Lakers (3.1 million) -- earned an average 2.9 million viewers.

ESPN's exclusive Christmas Day games -- the New Orleans Pelicans versus the Miami Heat and LA Clippers versus the Denver Nuggets -- averaged 2.83 million viewers.

NBA League Pass, the league's live game subscription package, saw average minutes rising 67% versus the first week of the season last year in October 2019.

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