The Portland Trail Blazers’ cinderella run in the 2019 playoffs came to an unsatisfying close as the Golden State Warriors completed yet another sweep of Damian Lillard and company. Despite the series only lasting four games, Portland led by at least 15 points in three of the games and therefore kept the series exciting for all NBA fans.
ESPN announced the market ratings for the four-game series, which turned out to be one of highest rated Conference Finals ever on the network:
ESPN’s metered market ratings for the 2019 NBA Western Conference Finals, the network’s fourth highest rated Conference Finals ever, were up 23 percent from the last time it televised the Western Finals, in 2017.
Andrew Bucholtz of Awful Announcing tried to explain why the impressive market ratings occurred:
Maybe there was some added interest on how Golden State would perform minus Kevin Durant, or some extra national following for Portland after their playoff exploits so far (a five-game win over Oklahoma City in Round 1 with a “bad shot” Damian Lillard dagger, and a seven-game win over Denver in Round 2), or maybe people are even more into today’s Warriors than they were in 2017 or 2018.
You can learn more about the Conference Finals’ ratings here.