From a viewership standpoint, the NBA successfully rallied around a condensed timeline heading into the 2020-21 season to post solid television ratings in the opening week. A report featured on ESPN highlighted the numbers from the NBA’s late-December opening slate of games.
NBA viewers watched 81.5 million hours of live games on ABC, ESPN and TNT in the opening week of the season, up 95% from opening week in 2019.
In terms of total hours, this season’s opening week was the most viewed since 2011, the league said Wednesday. That also was the last time the NBA season opened during the week of Christmas; it was on Dec. 25 that year and Dec. 22 this year.
In terms of year-over-year viewing on Christmas Day, the NBA’s viewership was up 10 percent.
Games shown on ESPN on Christmas Day — New Orleans against Miami and the LA Clippers against Denver — were up 10% in average viewers (2.83 million) over the games shown in comparable windows on Christmas last season.
You can read the full report regarding the NBA’s opening weekend at ESPN.