May 6, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) moves to the basket against Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) guard Stephen Curry (30) and forward Andrew Wiggins (22) during the first half in game three of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers-Golden State Warriors Western Conference Semifinals matchup has been a gold mine for the NBA.

Game 1, a 117-112 Lakers win, averaged 7.357 million viewers on TNT. That was cable’s most-watched conference semifinal Game 1 ever, and (at the time) TNT’s most-watched conference semifinal game since 2012.

Game 2, a 127-100 Warriors win, averaged 7.351 million viewers on ESPN. That was Disney’s most-watched conference semifinal Game 2 ever.

Game 3, a 127-97 Lakers win, averaged 8.373 million viewers on ABC. That was the most-watched conference semifinal Game 3 since 1999, and the most-watched conference semifinal game since 2011.

Game 4, a 104-101 Lakers win, averaged 7.522 million viewers on TNT. It surpassed Game 1 as TNT’s most-watched conference semifinal game since 2012, and is the NBA’s most-watched game on cable since 2019.

Through four games, the series is averaging 7.651 million viewers.

The strong start to this series comes on the heels of a first round that averaged 3.4 million viewers, the NBA’s most-watched first round in nine years. That round was led by the wild seven game Warriors-Kings series, which concluded with an audience of 9.8 million viewers for Game 7. That was the largest audience for a first round game since 1999.

Game 5 will take place at 10 PM ET on TNT Wednesday night. A potential Game 6 is scheduled for Friday night on ESPN, with a possible mouth-watering Game 7 Sunday on ABC.

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.