Celtics/Heat NBA Season Opener Down Double-Digits


The first full NBA season in two years got off to a slower start on TNT.

Tuesday’s Celtics/Heat NBA regular season game drew 5.371 million viewers on TNT, down 27% from Heat/Celtics in 2010 (7.348M), but up 34% from Celtics/Cavaliers in 2009 (4.021M).

Last year’s Opening Night Bulls/Mavericks game was canceled due to the NBA owners’ five-month lockout. The season instead opened with a Noon ET Celtics/Knicks game on TNT Christmas Day, which earned 5.860 million viewers.

Tuesday’s opener was likely affected — at least somewhat — by weather-related power outages in major television markets.

Later in the night, the Mavericks/Lakers game drew 4.298 million viewers — up slightly from Rockets/Lakers in 2010 (4.279M), and up 28% from Clippers/Lakers in 2009 (3.358M).

Viewership For NBA Opening Night Games
Past five seasons
* 2011-12 season delayed and shortened due to owner-imposed lockout

Year Date Away Home Net Viewers (000)
2012 Tue., 10/30/12 Celtics Heat TNT
Mavs Lakers TNT
2011 Tue., 11/1/11 Bulls Mavs
Thunder Lakers
2010 Tue., 10/26/10 Heat Celtics TNT
Rockets Lakers TNT
2009 Tue., 10/27/09 Celtics Cavs TNT
Clippers Lakers TNT
2008 Tue., 10/28/08 Cavs Celtics TNT
Blazers Lakers TNT

(Tuesday’s numbers from TV By the Numbers)

  • kobe sandoval

    Wasn’t the 2010 Heat/Celtics game Lebron’s first playing for Miami? Pretty hard to compete with that.

    • Paulsen

      Yes, but yesterday’s game had a fair amount of hype. Should have had closer to six million viewers. Maybe the power outages in the Northeast had something to do with that.

      • JakeFrankie

        I’m pretty sure power outages took away a few viewers. I have not seen any NBA games since the cable is not working. Hopefully soon enough Cable will be back. This title of this article is a bit misleading these are still great numbers.

  • travis y

    Power outages + uncompetitive game – not being the debut for LeBron/DWade/Bosh = about the same rating

    Non story. Context needed. 

  • Wpd45

    Halloween is also a significant factor.   I bet that alone is 10-15%