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NBA playoffs see record ratings

Apr 19, 2011, 12:36 PM EDT

Image (1) television07-thumb-250x166-21995.png for post 6282

Here is another reason that the momentum-killing lockout is going to be such a disaster.

The opening weekend of the NBA playoffs got the highest first-weekend ratings ever on TNT, according to Sports Media Watch. That follows on the footsteps of regular season ratings that were the highest since the Jordan era.

TNT averaged a 2.8 U.S. rating and 4.542 million viewers for NBA Playoff coverage on Sunday, up 27% in ratings and 36% in viewership from last year (2.2, 3.336M), and the most-viewed opening day of the playoffs ever on Turner Sports.

In particular, Sunday’s Knicks/Celtics Game 1 drew a 3.6 U.S. rating and 5.989 million viewers, up 44% in ratings and 53% in viewership from last year (SA/DAL G1: 2.5, 3.925M), and up 64% and 86%, respectively, from 2009 (MIA/ATL G1: 2.2, 3.228M).

The Celtics’ win drew more viewers than every single first round playoff game — on broadcast or cable — last season.

The lockout will kill this. Just flat out kill it. And while I’d say the owners and players are aware of the damage, that is different than saying either side is willing to budge off their respective positions to avoid it.

  1. fouldwimmerlaik - Apr 19, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    Undoubtedly the entire world is enthralled with the Lakers, much as I am, which is leading to the upsurge in ratings. Oh my, just the word “upsurge” makes me think of Kobe. Anyway, I am sure it is the Lakers quest for a three-peat that fuels the ratings. I know I watch them constantly. Between playoff games, I am also watching replays of Lakers games from the last two seasons. My parents have an old VHS videotape machine in their basement and I have recorded all of the Lakers’ games on it for the last seven years. I am sure that is helping the ratings each time I watch one of those.

    So, the NBA can thank the Lakers for all of the ratings!!!!!

    • louistaylored - Apr 19, 2011 at 6:57 PM

      uhhhh yeah buddy, no, fouldwimmerlaik I love the Lakers as much as or even more than the next guy but the obvious reason the NBA’s rating has gone up is the Miami Heat and their Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Plain and simple, but I’d like to add that the Carmelo trade to NY really added a lot of fuel to the fire. The Lakers are always gonna remain near the top of the most viewed teams because of its storied past and Kobe Bryant, who along with LeBron is the face of the NBA. But dont get ahead of yourself man, people wanna see the Heat no matter if they’re rooting for or against them

  2. goldkj - Apr 19, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    I don’t know if I can handle another Dick Stockton & Chris Webber broadcast. Those two were brutal last night.

    • philtration - Apr 19, 2011 at 10:10 PM

      I watched the local Chicago broadcast with Neil Funk and Stacy King instead.
      Much better!

      Dick Stockton & Chris Webber suck but so do most of the national guys.

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