Through this past Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 18), NBA viewership for 27 games broadcast across TNT, ESPN and ABC were up 34% versus the comparable number of games last season. According to Nielsen Media Research, that amounts to 2.0 million average viewers versus 1.49 million average viewers for the 2019-20 season. Additionally, the NBA’s social media platforms have generated record engagement season-to-date, with a 201% increase in minutes watched versus last year.
The comparison isn’t exact. Due to the pandemic, the current NBA season, which was shortened, began in December after the previous season’s end was pushed into fall.