First Two Rounds of NBA Playoffs Were Most Watched Ever on ESPN Platforms

(Image credit: ESPN)

BRISTOL, Conn.—ESPN is reporting that the first two rounds of the 2023 NBA Playoffs Presented by Google Pixel are the most-watched ever on ESPN platforms.

According to Nielsen data the first two rounds of the NBA Playoffs have averaged 5,226,000 viewers across 27 games on ESPN platforms, up 14 percent from last year.

The Boston Celtics 24-point rout of the Philadelphia 76ers on May 14 delivered the largest NBA Conference Semifinals Audience on ABC in 12 years (since 2011). The broadcast averaged 8,441,000 viewers, peaking with 10,165,000 viewers from 5:45-6 p.m. ET., ESPN said. 

Viewership for the Celtics vs. 76ers Game 7 was up 13 percent from last year’s comparable window, which was Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 7 on ABC. Sunday’s Celtics vs. 76ers broadcast was also the most-watched Conference Semifinals Game 7 on any network since 2008, ESPN said. 

In addition, Game 7 was the most-watched program of the day on Mother’s Day across all of television and in all key demographics. 

Overall, the 2023 NBA Conference Semifinals was the most-watched since 2011 on ESPN platforms.

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.