Opening night records highest TV audience in five years
The National Basketball Association (NBA) recorded the highest TV audience for its opening night in five years, with a 17 per cent increase on the 2021/22 season. The league tipped off its 2022/23 campaign with a doubleheader on Warner Bros Discovery-owned cable network TNT. An average audience of 3.3 million viewers watched the Boston Celtics’ victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, before defending champions the Golden State Warriors later defeated
According to Sports Media Watch, the Celtics-76ers opener was watched by 2.98 million viewers, which was up 36 per cent from last season’s opening game between the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets. It was also the most-viewed early game on opening night in five years, behind the 2017 opener between the Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers which drew 5.6 million people. Meanwhile, the Warriors-Lakers game averaged 3.55 million viewers, up four per cent from the same matchup last year. It was also the league’s largest opening night audience in three years.
The NBA also announced that its video content on its official social media channels and the NBA App generated 148 million views, which was the most-ever for an opening night. This was also a 200 per cent increase from the numbers generated from 2021.