NBA Update: Bulls/Knicks Up Double-Digits on ABC; TNT’s Ratings Up Slightly


ABC scored another increase in NBA ratings for the Easter Sunday matchup between the Bulls and Knicks.

The April 8th Bulls/Knicks NBA regular season game drew a 2.3 final rating and 3.447 million viewers on ABC, up 15% in ratings and 16% in viewership from last year (CHI/ORL: 2.0, 2.960M), and up 64% and 72%, respectively, from 2010 (ORL/CLE: 1.4, 2.002M).

Despite the increase, the game ranks as the second-lowest rated and second-least viewed NBA game of the season on ABC (does not include Sunday’s doubleheader).

Three of the four least-viewed games on ABC this season have involved the Chicago Bulls.

NBA on TNT Up Only Slightly From Last Year: Entering Tuesday’s doubleheader, TNT has averaged a 1.7 U.S. rating and 2.591 million viewers for regular season NBA coverage, up 6% in ratings and viewership from the season-to-date average last year (1.6, 2.453M), and up 55% and 50%, respectively, from the season-to-date average two years ago (1.1, 1.723M).

Keep in mind the 2011-12 NBA regular season began on Christmas Day due to the owners’ five-month lockout of players, the fourth work stoppage in NBA history (all owner-imposed lockouts). Versus the comparable December-April period last season, this year’s averages are up 6% and 8%, respectively.

Though up only slightly from last year, TNT is on pace to have its most-viewed NBA regular season.

(April 8 numbers from Media Life Magazine; TNT averages from Turner Sports press release via The Futon Critic)

  • Schilling2sox03

    Honestly, quite a dissapointment if you ask me. Considering the season started on Xmas, the ratings were obviously bumped up. Fact is, TNT airs mostly high profile, large market teams. If MLB did this with it’s coverage, it would surpass the NBA in ratings. Granted, the Yankees and Sox are on a decent amount, but there are also many games without the big market teams. 

    • Paulsen

      I disagree. To keep up last year’s torrid pace in a lockout season is quite impressive.

      Also, TNT has several games throughout the season that do not include big market teams (the network has aired OKC/Sacramento two years in a row), so I think the Thursday night NBA and Sunday night MLB games are generally on the same level. Last season, MLB’s exclusive Sunday night games averaged 2.294 million viewers on ESPN.

    • JakeFrankie

      Last I checked TNT has had OKC,Spurs,Magic,Portland, Utah have had several games on TNT this season they are not “Large Market” teams lol. NBA’s National TV games ratings are higher than MLB’s, But MLB has the edge in the local market. 

      NBA (Usually years) has games going while the NFL playoffs are going on, the NHL season/playoffs, tons of high profile TV shows (American Idol and plenty of other TV shows). While besides every ( every4 years when the Olympic games are on)MLB through Middle of June – September has no sporting competition for ratings at all. NBA should be very very happy with these numbers.

    • Andrea Cavalli

      Well, if having the most watched NBA regular season EVER (or even 2nd if ratings should ever go down in the last two weeks of the season) since TNT airs NBA games (we are going back to the ’80’s, the so-called golden age of the league) is a disappointment, especially after a lockout that, according to many overexaggerated doomsayers, would have been the nail in the coffin (LMAO) for the NBA, then it’s a pretty nice disappointment to have, a disappointment any other sports league would love to brag about. No offense.

      Also, not to pick up a fight or anything, but didn’t the Heat/Thunder regular season game on ESPN2 outdrew the MLB season opener, which was going on at the same time on ESPN?

      I also seem to recall that both ESPN and TNT aired several small market teams such as Oklahoma City (one of the smallest markets in pro sposts)..and Miami, contrary to popular belief, is a middle-sized market, slightly bigger than Cleveland and smaller than Minneapolis.

      As far as games on broadcast TV, doesn’t the MLB struggle to even reach a 3 rating even when Yankees and Red Sox, arguably the most popular baseball teams, play? The NBA has already got a rating higher than 3.0 (or even 4.0) several times this year already.

      Gosh, if people are going to hate on the NBA on a season ratings have been some of the highest ever, just imagine what they would be saying had ratings been down.

      I swear the NBA can’t ever win with casual observers.

      • JakeFrankie

        Don’t put too thought into one person’s opinion (no disrespect to him) He can have his opinion, Just like we can. NBA is above MLB in National tv ratings just like MLB is above the NBA in local tv ratings. There’s no debating it that’s what the numbers show. The numbers been showing that for years NBA has always been a great national draw (Well since 84 it has).

        I cannot wait for the playoffs though which starts next Saturday (I believe). It’s going to be amazing playoffs, Cannot wait for the great series/games ahead.

  • Andrea Cavalli

    Paulsen, can you please confirm whether next week’s Bobcats-Knicks game is still on TNT (last day of the regular season)? I just can’t believe the Bobcats are slated for a national TV appearance. Is TNT still in time to do some changes? I mean, EVERYONE but the Bobcats!!!!

    • Paulsen

      TNT put out a press release today that lists Knicks/Bobcats on the schedule for next week, but I still wouldn’t be surprised if they changed it. Marv Albert would actually get the call for that game.

      • Andrea Cavalli

        oh ok, thanks.