Lakers Lose, NBA Opening Evening Viewership Regular With 2019 – .
It wasn’t a great night for the reigning LA Lakers champions or the previous Golden State Warriors champions, but the 2020-2021 season opening last night was great for the NBA and TNT.
Played under Covid-19 security protocols in the City of Angels and the Republic of Brooklyn, the double header hit 2.9 million viewers in primetime Tuesday, according to Nielsen.
After the Clippers defeated LeBron James and the Lakers 116-109, who now starred Kevin Durant with Nets Steph Curry and crew 125-99, the opening night last night was 1% higher than 2019 October 22nd last year. Just over two months after the Lakers and NBA wrapped up the extended coronavirus season in the bubble playoffs, Tuesday attendance increased 5% from the 2019-2020 season restart in July.
Covid-19 postpones the Houston Rockets-Oklahoma City Thunder game and provides a rough start to the bizarre NBA season
Overall, the start of the season last night with large market teams was the best the NBA has done since 2017, Covid or no Covid.
All of this must surely bring a welcome sigh of relief to Commissioner Adam Silver, the 30 teams and WarnerTia’s own TNT as the 37% ratings decrease the playoffs year on year. Regardless of whether last night’s strong and steady metrics apply to the NBA or not, we’ll see plenty of Christmas games on offer over the next few days.
In less successful own Covid bubbles, the NFL was back in double digits at the season opener, while MLB shot up. Football is still struggling to achieve constant traction and the fact is that the baseball and hockey playoffs scored 40% and 38% respectively as of 2019.
Unlike other American leagues, the NBA never suffered a coronavirus outbreak in its pioneering approach to bringing live sports back to a nation that stays at home.
Individually, the Battle of LA game drew 3.08 million viewers at 10:04 p.m. ET. That’s a 14% decrease from the Clippers vs Lakers opening game in Fall 2019. The Warriors’ loss to the Nets at 7pm ET drew a whopping 2.7 million viewers.
TNT was the big winner of the night on both cable and broadcast in the key demo of adults between 18 and 49 years old.
The NBA opening night took it to the digital platform and jumped into the league’s social media. Video views were up 101% from the start of last year and up 243% in minutes. Those numbers add up to 88.3 million calls and 42.7 million minutes for your data headers.
On the other hand, now that the bubble is gone, the NBA had to pause tonight’s Houston Rockets v Oklahoma City Thunder game because the Texas team lacked the eight players the league needed to make the pitch. Aside from James Harden being fined $ 50,000 for becoming maskless, a trio of the Rockets have tested positive or inconclusive, one player is injured and four other players are currently in quarantine.