It wasn’t a great night for the reigning LA Lakers champions or past Golden State Warriors champions, but the opening of the 2020-2021 season last night was great for the NBA and TNT.
Played according to Covid-19 security protocols in the City of Angels and Republic of Brooklyn, the double-headed alert caught 2.9 million spectators in prime time since Tuesday, according to Nielsen.
With the Clippers taking down LeBron James and the Lakers 116-109, and now Kevin Durant in the lead role of the Nets training Steph Curry and crew 125-99, last night’s Opening Night rose 1% from 2019 reports 22. October last year. It followed just over two months after the Lakers and NBA ended an extended season with coronavirus in the playoffs with bubbles, with total ratings viewing on Tuesday rising 5% from the July 2020 2020 reboot.
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Overall, with big market teams filling the screen, last night’s start to the season was the best the NBA has done since 2017, Covid or not Covid.
All of this must surely give Commissioner Adam Silver, 30 teams and TNT owned by WarnerMedia such a welcome sigh of relief, as a result of a 37% reduction in viewership, reduced playoffs year after year. Whether or not last night’s metrics are strong and stable for the NBA, we’ll see over the next few days, and the holiday games will be on offer.
In the less successful relative Covid bubbles, the NFL returned a double-digit number in its season opener, while the MLB rose. Football is still struggling to achieve constant traction, and the fact is that baseball and hockey play-offs have hit 40% and 38% since 2019.
Unlike other American leagues, the NBA has never suffered a coronavirus outbreak in its approach to bringing live sports back to the home country.
Individually, the 22:04 ET start of the Battle of LA game scored 3.08 million viewers. That’s a 14% drop from the Clippers ’opening against the Lakers in the fall of 2019. At 7 p.m., the ET that started Warriors’ loss to the Nets had a whopping 2.7 million viewers.
TNT was the main winner of the evening on both cable and broadcast networks in a key demonstration program for adults aged 18 to 49.
By transmitting it to the digital platform, the NBA’s open evening jumped on the league’s social networks. Video views were up 101% from last year’s launcher and up 243% in minutes of viewing – those numbers are 88.3 million views and 42.7 million minutes for your data heads.
So again, now that the bubble is no longer in place, the NBA had to push the pause button on tonight’s Houston Rockets game against the Oklahoma City Thunder because the Texas team was missing eight players the league needed to take to the field. In addition to being fined $ 50,000 by James Harden for leaving without a mask, the Rockets trio tested positive or unconvincing, one player was injured and four other players are currently in quarantine.