NBA In-Season Tournament TV Ratings Prove Adam Silver Is A Genius

NBA In-Season Tournament TV Ratings Prove Adam Silver Is A Genius

The numbers are in and it seems like the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament was a success. The NBA Cup Final delivered the league’s top audience outside of Christmas Day and the postseason in the last six years.

Saturday’s matchup between the Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Lakers brought in 4.58 million viewers across ABC and ESPN. The NBA In-Season Tournament final averaged a 2.5 rating, making it the largest NBA audience outside of Christmas and the postseason since 2018, when the Cleveland Cavilers met the Boston Celtics.

NBA In-Season Tournament Viewership Hits Six-Year High

The NBA in-season tournament averaged 4.58 million viewers across two different platforms. The ratings for the final went up 44% and viewership 46% from the Celtics vs Warriors NBA Finals rematch. The Pacers-Lakers game peaked with 5.68 million viewers.

Overall, the In-Season Tournament averaged 1.67 million viewers, which is up 41% compared to last year. The NBA games this season are averaging 1.72 million viewers, up 7%. The In-Season Tournament may not have been worth much to some of the players, but it did peak interest for fans with viewership peaking in the last six years.

NBA In-Season Tournament Was A Success

The 2023-2024 season marked the introduction of the first-ever NBA In-Season Tournament. While the tournament was an experiment, the NBA is happy with the engagement it drew from viewers.

Overall, the format was a resounding success that saw increased effort from players, along with more media coverage and attention for players in smaller markets. Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton was one of the breakout stars of the In-Season Tournament after leading his team to the NBA Cup Final. The primary objective was to create more engagement at the beginning of the season.

With the introduction of the tournament, ratings were up by 26% during the group stage and only went higher in the knockout stages. The quarterfinal game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns averaged 1.97 viewers on TNT, which is 89% higher compared to games in a similar window last year.

The NBA was able to prove there would be interest in a regular season in-season tournament. There’s an opportunity for the league to allow other companies like Netflix to sponsor the tournament and drive revenue up even higher.

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