With the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors anchoring the 2016-17 NBA Opening Night doubleheader, TNT saw its biggest audience since 2013. The New York-Cleveland and San Antonio-Golden State double-dip delivered a 1.9 rating and an average viewership of 3.2 million.

And the numbers gave TNT an 89% increase from its average viewership of NBA regular season telecasts last season.

The primetime doubleheader won the night over all cable competition.

Some highlights from last night’s Opening Night games:

  • New York-Cleveland had a 1.7 rating with 2.9 million viewers.
  • Despite being a blowout, San Antonio-Golden State improved on the Knicks-Cavs lead-in with a 2.1 rating and 3.5 million viewers peaking at 4.1 million from midnight-12:15 a.m. ET.
  • The Spurs 29-point win over the Warriors set a TNT ratings record for a regular season NBA game in the San Francisco-Oakland market with a 12.5 rating.
  • San Antonio received an 11.1 rating.
  • Knicks/Cavs averaged a 9.1 rating in Cleveland and a 4.6 in New york.
  • And the games saw more streaming consumption with 5.5 million minutes, up 97% from last year’s season opening doubleheader.

Overall, the numbers are quite encouraging for the NBA as it comes off a very good 2015-16 season. As it looks forward to 2016-17, the Association has reason to believe that the ratings on ABC/ESPN and TNT will continue to be good for the regular season as interest in the league is high.

With the Cavs and Warriors playing at a high level, they could pace the NBA into a higher ratings stratosphere in 2016-17.

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.