LeBron James BOSTON, MA – MAY 19: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts in the first half against the Boston Celtics during Game Two of the 2017 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 19, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

The quality of NBA postseason games may not be the best this year, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t watching. Viewership for the 2017 NBA Playoffs on ESPN and ABC is up five percent from last year. So far, the average viewership this season is at 4.376 million as compared to 4.176 million.

As for streaming, ESPN says the online audience has set a record for average minute streaming. On WatchESPN, the games drew an average of 112,000 viewers and that’s up 24% from last season.

And this postseason gave ABC its most-watched opening weekend game, Game 1 of the Golden State Warriors-Portland Trail Blazers series that had a combined TV and streaming audience of 6.6 million viewers.

In addition, this is ESPN’s most-streamed NBA Playoffs opening weekend with an average minute audience of 91,800 viewers.

TNT’s ratings has also seen an uptick thanks to the playoffs and its numbers have won primetime in cable.

And that gives ABC some momentum going into the Finals starting on June 1.

In addition to the ratings, once again, ABC will air Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night before each NBA Finals game in primetime on the East Coast and it will after the game on the West Coast. Some of his guests will include Kevin Hart, Will Ferrell, Robert Downey, Jr., and noted NBA fan Billy Crystal.


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