NBA sees sharp opening-week viewership increase from 2019 to 2020
Since the new NBA season tipped off eight days ago, viewers watched a total of 81.5 million hours of live games on ABC, ESPN, and TNT networks in the opening week of this season. The contrast is stark from last year’s viewership numbers as the 2020 statistics are a 95-percent increase from the opening week of the 2019 season and the most since 2011, which is the last time the NBA opened its season during the week of Christmas.
Traditionally, the NBA season begins in the month of October, but the COVID-19 pandemic and collective bargaining agreement disputes led to the late starts for the 2020 and 2011 seasons, respectively.
Social media also felt the impact of the NBA’s rising viewership numbers. The NBA experienced a 36-percent increase in video views and a 279-percent increase in minutes watched, both compared to figures from last season.
Considering the economic devastation from the pandemic, the NBA is encouraged by the numbers just a week into the 72-game regular season. For more sports coverage, click here.