Opening weekend of the NBA playoffs were viewed more than at any time over the previous decade, drawing an average of 4.05 million viewers for games on ABC, ESPN and TNT.
Per the NBA, ABC averaged 6.9 million viewers for the game, peaking at 9.8 million. And it delivered, with Tatum making a last-second basket to lift the Celtics to a 116-115 victory.
“Ranking second for the weekend, Bucks-Bulls averaged a 2.2 and 4.77 million on TNT Sunday night — the largest opening round playoff audience on cable since 2018 (Cavaliers-Pacers Game 4: 6.07M),” wrote Jon Lewis of Sports Media Watch.
Lewis also noted, “Ratings jumped 34% and viewership as much as 59% from Hawks-Knicks last year (1.7, 3.00M*) and 39% and 79% respectively from Pistons-Bucks in 2019 (1.6, 2.66M).”