Lakers’ Trip East Raising NBA’s Television Ratings

Ten of the previous 15 games have increased in viewership over the 2019-20 season, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Jon Lewis of Sports Media Watch.Russell Westbrook

The biggest winners have been the up-and-down Lakers, who are drawing eyeballs despite missing LeBron James for much of the early season. James recently sat out with an abdominal strain. He also missed two games with a sore ankle. (He’s been suspended for Tuesday’s road game against the Knicks as well.)

Even so, power forward Anthony Davis and point guard Russell Westbrook apparently have remained a draw.

Games not involving the Lakers haven’t fared as well nationally, as Lewis noted, but that’s not uncommon during the NFL portion of the NBA’s calendar.

“Friday‚Äôs Lakers-Celtics NBA regular season game averaged 1.74 million viewers on ESPN, up 64% from the comparable 2019 window (Spurs-Sixers: 1.06M),” Lewis wrote. “Two nights earlier, Lakers-Bucks averaged 1.47 million — up 45% from 2019 (Warriors-Mavericks: 1.02M). Mavericks-Suns followed both games, averaging 1.36 million Wednesday (-16%) and 1.37 million Friday (-17%).”

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