Lakers-Warriors Play-In Tournament Was Most Watched NBA Game On ESPN Since 2019

The Play-In Tournament recreation between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors, televised solely on ESPN, tallied 5,618,000 viewers and a peak viewers of 6,149,000 viewers. These numbers add as much as being the most-watched NBA broadcast on ESPN because the 2019 Western Conference Finals.

Viewership of this Play-In Tournament recreation was additionally up 190% from the 2020 iteration of the occasion, which was a single recreation between the Portland Trail Blazers and Memphis Grizzlies. In addition, the primary recreation of the evening — Grizzlies vs. San Antonio Spurs — reached simply 2,293,000 viewers.

Wednesday evening’s immediate basic was the second-most watched recreation of the 2020-21 season throughout all networks, with the No. 1 honor belonging to the Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks on Christmas Day. Lakers-Warriors additionally received the evening throughout all networks in varied demographics.

This is nice information for the NBA, who now has one thing to level to as proof for the success of the Play-In Tournament. Breaking viewership data for a recreation that isn’t technically registered as a playoff recreation means the league was profitable in producing curiosity.

They have been additionally lucky to have such a extremely contested matchup between two very giant fanbases, with a recreation that includes two of the sport’s largest stars in LeBron James and Stephen Curry. Given that the sport was not technically an elimination recreation, it makes these numbers much more spectacular.

The Warriors being eradicated within the last spherical of the Play-In Tournament does damage the NBA’s potential for rankings within the first spherical, however they’ll nonetheless have loads of intriguing opening matchups. The Lakers and Phoenix Suns will generate viewers, and the identical goes for Brooklyn Nets-Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks-Miami Heat, and L.A. Clippers-Dallas Mavericks.

James not receiving suspension for violation of Health and Safety protocols

James was knowledgeable by the NBA that he was in violation of the league’s well being and security protocols when he attended a public occasion with Michael B. Jordan and Drake. Everyone in attendance was required to indicate proof of vaccination or a adverse COVID check, which may very well be why James won’t be suspended.

The Lakers star will probably be obtainable for Game 1 towards the Suns, even when there will probably be some controversy round him for not receiving any punishment by the league.

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