TV Audiences Not That Interested in Knicks/Nets Rivalry


The Knicks/Nets rivalry has not been a blockbuster attraction nationally.

Tuesday’s Knicks/Nets NBA regular season game drew 1.7 million viewers on ESPN, ranking as just the 15th-largest NBA television audience of the season (29 telecasts on ESPN and TNT).

The game was not even the top NBA telecast of the night, trailing Clippers/Bulls (2.0M).

Knicks/Nets finished just barely behind the teams’ first Brooklyn meeting this season, a November 26 game on TNT that aired opposite “Monday Night Football” (1.8M). That game was postponed from November 1 due to Hurricane Sandy.

For some perspective, the final nationally televised game between the Knicks and New Jersey Nets (April 2011) earned a not-much-lower 1.5 million viewers on ESPN.

Thirteen NBA games have outdrawn both Knicks/Nets matchups this season, including the Knicks’ three other national TV appearances — Heat/Knicks on November 2 (2.8M), Knicks/Heat last Thursday (2.7M), and even Knicks/Grizzlies on November 16 (2.0M).

The Nets’ only other national TV appearance this season, a November 15 game against the Celtics, earned 1.4 million on TNT.

(Tuesday’s numbers from TV By the Numbers)

  • d. liriano

    but do those knicks nets numbers include the broadcast on both msg and yes network last night, which both dominated the espn broadcast in new york?

    • Paulsen

      No, these numbers are just for the ESPN telecast.

  • chrisklem89

    I think part of it is that people are used to tuning in for national games on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and both of these games have been “special editions.”

  • Andrea Cavalli

    Well, if national audiences are not THAT interested in the Nets/Knicks rivalry that’s their loss. Those first two games have been very good with a playoff-like vibe. Still, the Nets/Knicks don’t have that much of a history against each other so I believe it will take some time for the casual fan to adjust and become more interested. A couple more of tense games and a playoffs series later in the spring could help to change that IMO.