While broadcast television ratings have been down across the board, the NBA has been an exception, generating positive viewership locally and nationally. According to Nielsen, the NBA on ABC audience was up 17% during the regular season.
ABC owns two presentations of NBA basketball, both of which were up by double digits in viewership. NBA Saturday Primetime averaged 3,338,000 viewers in its third season since ABC began televising the eight-game Saturday night slate. It was a 15 percent increase from the 2,948,000 viewers the series averaged last season.
The NBA Sunday Showcase on ABC averaged 2,947,000 viewers in its ninth season, the highest average for the Sunday schedule of games since the 2013-14 season. The Showcase was up 23% when compared to the 2,388,000 audience garnered last season.
ABC and ESPN combined to broadcast 12 of the 15 most viewed NBA games this season. ABC’s Christmas Day telecast between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers drew a season high 8,834,000 viewers. Viewership of the Warriors Cavalier Christmas day game was up from last year’s 8.82 million, but it should be noted this season’s game received a 5.5 market share, down from last season’s 5.9.