With strong competition during this year’s NBA Playoffs on ABC, TNT and ESPN have posted 5% to 12% viewership gains over a year ago.
ABC witnessed a 12% hike to average 6.17 million Nielsen-measured viewers, while ESPN gained 5% to 4.70 million viewers and TNT witnessed a 10% hike to 4.38 million.
The best results so far are for TNT’s recent Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals, in which the Miami Heat beat the Boston Celtics, earning 11.9 million viewers. This was TNT's third-most watched NBA telecast ever and the most-watched Eastern Conference Finals game on TNT in ten years.
The NBA Playoffs so far have earned $339.5 million in national TV advertising revenue for all networks -- ABC, TNT, ESPN, and NBA TV -- according to estimates from EDO Ad EnGage, compared to ad revenue of $360.2 million a year ago.
More playoff games -- sans the NBA Finals -- were aired last year, with many playoff series extended because more gains were needed to determine the winner.
For example, TNT aired 45 NBA Playoff games in 2022 and 40 games this year. TNT is estimated to have pulled in $197.6 million this year -- a bit lower than its total of $206.5 million for 2022.
This year, ESPN aired 21 games -- two less than a year ago -- while ABC had 11 games this year versus 12 in 2022.