Karl-Anthony Towns Minnesota Timberwolves Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to the 2024 NBA Playoffs, there’s good news and bad news for the league.

The good news is that TNT drew a record audience for its Game 7 broadcast of Timberwolves-Nuggets. The bad news is that altogether, TNT and ESPN are down 11% through the first two rounds.

Per Sports Media Watch, Minnesota’s win over reigning champion Denver averaged 8.41 million viewers across TNT and truTV Sunday night. That’s the most-watched game for the network in the early rounds ever, surpassing a Magic-Celtics Game 7 in 2009 (8.38 million viewers). This is your obligatory reminder that out-of-home viewing was not included in viewership before 2020.

The Timberwolves’ victory also clocked in as the fourth-most-watched early-round game since 2012, behind Warriors-Kings (9.84 million), Warriors-Lakers (8.64 million), and 76ers-Celtics (8.44 million), which all took place last year.

In the east, the Pacers-Knicks series didn’t have the same positive vibes. Indiana’s Game 7 win averaged 6.45 million viewers on ABC Sunday, a 24% slip from the aforementioned Sixers-Celtics game a year ago.

Through the first two rounds, the NBA Playoffs are averaging 3.77 million viewers per game over all networks, a 11% drop from last year. The silver lining to that number is that viewership is up 2% from 2022, and they’re still clocking in as the second-most-watched playoffs through two rounds over the last decade.

Heading into the Conference Finals, ESPN will air the Eastern Conference Finals between the Celtics and Pacers, while TNT has the Western Conference Finals between the Timberwolves and Mavericks.

[Data via Sports Media Watch]

About Joe Lucia

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