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NBA reports notable television ratings increases from last season

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 1/21/2021 Mark Medina, USA TODAY
a man holding a ball: Steph Curry and the Warriors rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat LeBron James and the Lakers in an MLK Day showcase game. © Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY Sports Steph Curry and the Warriors rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat LeBron James and the Lakers in an MLK Day showcase game.

After viewership declines during its restarted 2019-20 season in the bubble, the NBA has seen some notable increases this season.

The NBA drew an average of two million viewers through its first 27 games on TNT, ESPN and ABC, which marked a 34% increase from a comparable number of games last season according to Nielsen Media Research.

The NBA has reported viewership increases from last season on NBA League Pass (46%), minutes viewed on League Pass (18%) and engagement on the league’s social media platforms (201%). TNT’s Martin Luther King Day tripleheader (Suns-Grizzlies, Nets-Bucks, Warriors-Lakers) also netted an average of 1.73 million viewers, a 32% increase from the network’s MLK Day coverage last season. That increase can be partly attributed to the presence of the Warriors’ Stephen Curry and the Nets’ Kevin Durant, both of whom had significant injuries last season.

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As USA TODAY Sports and others reported last month, the NBA’s television ratings on opening week yielded a 67% percent increase compared to last season, and its Christmas Day games netted a 10% increase in viewership. The NBA started this season on Dec. 22 after starting last season on Oct. 22.

TV ratings in several sports declined this past year, including the NBA’s season restart, the Kentucky Derby, NHL playoffs, U.S. Open golf tournament and U.S. Open tennis tournament amid changing viewing habits, the pandemic and the sports calendar overlapping.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NBA reports notable television ratings increases from last season

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