NBA Finals sees Game 1 as least-watched opener in 15 years – Deadline

Two great teams. Lots of big stars. An exciting game. Major television markets. Momentum of increased ratings during the regular season and playoffs.

And it all added up to the lowest ratings for Game 1 of the National Basketball Assn Finals. since many years.

Thursday night’s NBA Finals opener between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics was the least-watched first game in June since the San Antonio Spurs swept the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2007, some 15 years ago .

Jon Lewis of Sports Media Watch, reports that Game 1 drew a 6.3 average of 11.9 million viewers, surpassing only the previous two finals, which were played at odd times of the year for the league due to the pandemic.

“Awaiting any potential away comeback, the Celtics’ win was down 19% in viewership and 11% in viewership in the Warriors-Raptors opener of 2019, with the previous final set to take place in June ( 7.9, 13.38 million),” Lewis wrote. “It currently ranks as the lowest-rated and least-watched Finals game involving Curry (29 telecasts), falling below Game 4 of the 2019 series (7.6, 12.79 million). »

Lewis blamed waning interest for falling ratings.

“…As strong as NBA numbers have been at times these playoffs, there have been signs in recent weeks that the league’s momentum has slowed,” Lewis wrote. “Even last Sunday’s Celtics-Heat Game 7 was a disappointing draw by historical standards, its mere 4.6 rating easily the lowest for a Conference Final Game 7 in the last 25 years. The out-of-home viewing made the viewership figure more respectable — nearly 10 million — but even that was the smallest audience for a Conference Finals Game 7 since 2005.”

The two teams will meet again on Sunday.

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