2012-13 NBA TV Viewership: Heat, Lakers, Top Draws As Usual

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The Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers, as could be expected, attracted the largest audiences of the 2012-13 NBA regular season. Click here to jump to the chart.

The Heat or Lakers played in 18 of the 21 most-viewed games of the NBA regular season, including the eight most-viewed games. The top game of the season was Thunder/Heat on ABC Christmas Day (9.6M), followed by Knicks/Lakers earlier in the afternoon (8.8M), Lakers/Heat on February 10 (6.5M), Thunder/Lakers on January 27 (6.3M) and Celtics/Heat on TNT Opening Night (5.4M).

The top game of the season that did not involve the Lakers or Heat was Thunder/Clippers on March 3 (4.2M).

The least-viewed game of the season on ESPN/ABC or TNT was Sixers/Heat on ESPN April 6 (638K), which earned the smallest audience for any NBA game on those networks since November 2010. The game, which was added due to Miami’s 27-game winning streak, aired directly opposite the NCAA Final Four and was blacked out in both Miami and Philadelphia.

The April 16 Raptors/Hawks game on TNT, which was added to replace a canceled Pacers/Celtics game, was the second-least viewed of the season (774K). Pacers/Grizzlies on Martin Luther King Day, which aired opposite coverage of the presidential inauguration, ranked as the third-least viewed (781K).

Overall, of the 144 regular season games on ESPN, ABC and TNT this season, 23 earned at least three million viewers. By comparison, 33 of 134 games last season hit that mark. There were 49 games with fewer than 1.5 million viewers, compared to 34 last year.

On NBA TV, the most-viewed game of the season was Lakers/Trail Blazers on October 31 (868K), followed by Heat/Pacers on March 10 (764K), and Heat/Spurs on March 31 (743K). The three games rank among the four most-viewed regular season games ever on the network.

Game-by-Game Viewership For the 2012-13 NBA Regular Season

Ranked top to bottom
NBA TV games not included
#
Date Time (ET) Away Home Net
Viewers
1
Tue., 12/25/12 5:30 PM Thunder Heat ABC
9,571
2
Tue., 12/25/12 3:00 PM Knicks Lakers ABC
8,767
3
Sun., 2/10/13 3:30 PM Lakers Heat ABC
6,470
4
Sun., 1/27/13 3:30 PM Thunder Lakers ABC
6,330
5
Tue., 10/30/12 8:00 PM Celtics Heat TNT
5,371
6
Sun., 1/27/13 1:00 PM Heat Celtics ABC
4,618
7
Sun., 4/07/13 3:30 PM Lakers Clippers ABC
4,325
8
Tue., 10/30/12 10:30 PM Mavs Lakers TNT
4,298
9
Sun., 3/03/13 3:30 PM Thunder Clippers ABC
4,228
10
Sun., 3/03/13 1:00 PM Heat Knicks ABC
4,086
11
Sun., 3/10/13 3:30 PM Bulls Lakers ABC
4,064
12
Wed., 3/27/13 8:00 PM Heat Bulls ESPN
3,896
13
Mon., 3/18/13 8:00 PM Heat Celtics ESPN
3,787
14
Tue., 12/25/12 12:00 PM Celtics Nets ESPN
3,739
15
Thu., 1/17/13 10:30 PM Heat Lakers TNT
3,547
16
Thu., 2/14/13 8:00 PM Heat Thunder TNT
3,390
17
Tue., 3/05/13 9:30 PM Lakers Thunder TNT
3,339
18
Sun., 2/10/13 1:00 PM Clippers Knicks ABC
3,310
19
Fri., 1/04/13 10:30 PM Lakers Clippers ESPN
3,086
20
Fri., 11/02/12 10:30 PM Clippers Lakers ESPN
3,062
21
Thu., 12/13/12 8:00 PM Lakers Knicks TNT
3,046
22
Sun., 4/07/13 1:00 PM Knicks Thunder ABC
3,025
23
Sun., 4/14/13 1:00 PM Bulls Heat ABC
3,009
24
Sun., 2/24/13 1:00 PM Lakers Mavs ABC
2,931
25
Sun., 3/10/13 1:00 PM Celtics Thunder ABC
2,902
26
Fri., 11/02/12 8:00 PM Heat Knicks ESPN
2,783
27
Thu., 3/07/13 8:00 PM Thunder Knicks TNT
2,736
28
Tue., 4/02/13 8:00 PM Knicks Heat TNT
2,726
29
Thu., 12/06/12 8:00 PM Knicks Heat TNT
2,696
30
Fri., 12/07/12 9:30 PM Lakers Thunder ESPN
2,660
31
Thu., 2/07/13 8:00 PM Lakers Celtics TNT
2,613
32
Thu., 2/14/13 10:30 PM Clippers Lakers TNT
2,610
33
Sun., 3/17/13 3:30 PM Knicks Clippers ABC
2,580
34
Wed., 4/17/13 10:30 PM Rockets Lakers ESPN
2,482
35
Thu., 1/24/13 8:00 PM Knicks Celtics TNT
2,465
36
Thu., 2/21/13 8:00 PM Heat Bulls TNT
2,448
37
Wed., 1/30/13 10:30 PM Lakers Suns ESPN
2,431
38
Tue., 12/25/12 8:00 PM Rockets Bulls ESPN
2,385
39
Tue., 4/02/13 10:30 PM Mavs Lakers TNT
2,312
40
Tue., 12/25/12 10:30 PM Nuggets Clippers ESPN
2,309
41
Fri., 1/11/13 10:30 PM Thunder Lakers ESPN
2,307
42
Thu., 12/27/12 10:30 PM Celtics Clippers TNT
2,258
43
Wed., 2/20/13 10:30 PM Celtics Lakers ESPN
2,253
44
Wed., 11/14/12 10:30 PM Heat Clippers ESPN
2,241
45
Thu., 12/27/12 8:00 PM Mavs Thunder TNT
2,237
46
Mon., 1/21/13 9:30 PM Lakers Bulls TNT
2,235
47
Fri., 1/18/13 10:30 PM Thunder Mavs ESPN
2,177
T48
Thu., 11/01/12 9:30 PM Thunder Spurs TNT
2,144
T48
Wed., 11/21/12 7:30 PM Clippers Thunder ESPN
2,136
50
Thu., 4/11/13 8:00 PM Knicks Bulls TNT
2,136
51
Fri., 11/16/12 9:30 PM Knicks Grizzlies ESPN
2,040
52
Fri., 2/01/13 9:30 PM Lakers T’Wolves ESPN
2,032
53
Tue., 12/11/12 9:30 PM Clippers Bulls ESPN
2,020
54
Wed., 1/09/13 8:00 PM Lakers Spurs ESPN
2,009
55
Wed., 1/30/13 8:00 PM Heat Nets ESPN
2,003
56
Fri., 3/01/13 8:00 PM Grizzlies Heat ESPN
2,002
57
Thu., 12/20/12 9:30 PM Heat Mavs TNT
1,998
58
Fri., 3/01/13 10:30 PM Thunder Nuggets ESPN
1,988
59
Thu., 11/29/12 8:00 PM Spurs Heat TNT
1,984
60
Thu., 2/21/13 10:30 PM Spurs Clippers TNT
1,972
61
Fri., 1/18/13 8:00 PM Bulls Celtics ESPN
1,958
62
Thu., 4/04/13 9:30 PM Spurs Thunder TNT
1,934
63
Mon., 3/25/13 7:00 PM Heat Magic ESPN
1,920
64
Fri., 2/08/13 8:00 PM Clippers Heat ESPN
1,912
65
Fri., 1/11/13 8:00 PM Bulls Knicks ESPN
1,891
66
Thu., 11/08/12 8:00 PM Thunder Bulls TNT
1,848
67
Fri., 1/04/13 8:00 PM Bulls Heat ESPN
1,831
68
Mon., 11/26/12 7:15 PM Knicks Nets TNT
1,783
69
Wed., 1/09/13 10:30 PM Mavs Clippers ESPN
1,760
70
Thu., 3/07/13 10:30 PM Clippers Nuggets TNT
1,733
71
Wed., 12/12/12 8:00 PM Mavs Celtics ESPN
1,727
72
Tue., 12/11/12 7:00 PM Knicks Nets ESPN
1,712
73
Thu., 1/17/13 8:00 PM Clippers T’Wolves TNT
1,683
74
Thu., 12/20/12 7:00 PM Thunder T’Wolves TNT
1,682
75
Thu., 2/28/13 10:30 PM T’Wolves Lakers TNT
1,680
76
Wed., 11/14/12 8:00 PM Grizzlies Thunder ESPN
1,679
77
Wed., 12/19/12 7:00 PM Nets Knicks ESPN
1,677
78
Sun., 3/03/13 8:00 PM Bulls Pacers ESPN
1,665
79
Thu., 4/11/13 10:30 PM Thunder Warriors TNT
1,660
80
Wed., 1/16/13 10:30 PM Heat Warriors ESPN
1,656
81
Fri., 3/08/13 10:30 PM Rockets Warriors ESPN
1,655
82
Fri., 2/01/13 7:00 PM Heat Pacers ESPN
1,639
83
Tue., 3/26/13 9:30 PM Clippers Mavs TNT
1,629
84
Wed., 4/17/13 8:00 PM Jazz Grizzlies ESPN
1,615
85
Thu., 1/31/13 8:00 PM Grizzlies Thunder TNT
1,612
86
Mon., 3/18/13 10:30 PM Knicks Jazz ESPN
1,596
87
Fri., 11/30/12 10:30 PM Nuggets Lakers ESPN
1,595
88
Thu., 11/15/12 10:30 PM Heat Nuggets TNT
1,590
89
Fri., 2/22/13 10:30 PM Spurs Warriors ESPN
1,590
90
Wed., 2/27/13 8:00 PM Warriors Knicks ESPN
1,558
91
Sun., 2/24/13 9:30 PM Bulls Thunder ESPN
1,556
92
Sun., 1/27/13 6:30 PM Hawks Knicks ESPN
1,544
93
Fri., 3/08/13 8:00 PM Hawks Celtics ESPN
1,527
94
Wed., 12/12/12 10:30 PM Spurs Jazz ESPN
1,523
95
Wed., 3/27/13 10:30 PM Nets Blazers ESPN
1,516
96
Fri., 2/08/13 10:30 PM Bulls Jazz ESPN
1,478
97
Thu., 3/14/13 8:00 PM Mavs Spurs TNT
1,461
98
Tue., 3/26/13 7:00 PM Knicks Celtics TNT
1,458
99
Thu., 1/10/13 8:00 PM Knicks Pacers TNT
1,450
100
Wed., 3/06/13 9:00 PM Bulls Spurs ESPN
1,432
101
Wed., 1/16/13 8:00 PM Rockets Mavs ESPN
1,431
102
Fri., 12/14/12 8:00 PM Celtics Rockets ESPN
1,423
T103
Wed., 3/13/13 10:30 PM Knicks Nuggets ESPN
1,422
T103
Thu., 11/15/12 8:00 PM Celtics Nets TNT
1,408
105
Fri., 12/07/12 7:00 PM Celtics Sixers ESPN
1,408
106
Thu., 11/08/12 10:30 PM Clippers Blazers TNT
1,407
107
Thu., 1/24/13 10:30 PM Clippers Suns TNT
1,406
108
Wed., 3/13/13 8:00 PM Jazz Thunder ESPN
1,401
109
Wed., 12/05/12 10:30 PM Mavs Clippers ESPN
1,393
110
Sun., 2/24/13 7:00 PM Grizzlies Nets ESPN
1,382
T111
Wed., 2/27/13 10:30 PM Nuggets Blazers ESPN
1,372
T111
Thu., 1/10/13 10:30 PM Heat Blazers TNT
1,370
113
Tue., 3/05/13 7:00 PM Celtics Sixers TNT
1,370
114
Thu., 3/14/13 10:30 PM Knicks Blazers TNT
1,355
115
Sun., 2/10/13 8:00 PM Spurs Nets ESPN
1,344
116
Wed., 11/07/12 10:30 PM Spurs Clippers ESPN
1,336
117
Mon., 1/21/13 7:00 PM Spurs Sixers TNT
1,335
118
Fri., 2/22/13 8:00 PM T’Wolves Thunder ESPN
1,324
119
Thu., 12/13/12 10:30 PM Spurs Blazers TNT
1,322
120
Thu., 2/07/13 10:30 PM Bulls Nuggets TNT
1,320
121
Fri., 12/14/12 10:30 PM Grizzlies Nuggets ESPN
1,287
122
Thu., 2/28/13 8:00 PM Sixers Bulls TNT
1,280
123
Wed., 4/10/13 10:30 PM Spurs Nuggets ESPN
1,272
124
Fri., 4/05/13 8:00 PM Heat Bobcats ESPN
1,254
125
Wed., 12/19/12 9:30 PM Bucks Grizzlies ESPN
1,223
126
Thu., 1/31/13 10:30 PM Mavs Warriors TNT
1,220
127
Thu., 11/29/12 10:30 PM Nuggets Warriors TNT
1,208
128
Wed., 4/10/13 8:00 PM Nets Celtics ESPN
1,194
129
Thu., 12/06/12 10:30 PM Mavs Suns TNT
1,189
130
Wed., 2/20/13 8:00 PM Hornets Cavs ESPN
1,183
131
Fri., 4/05/13 10:30 PM Rockets Blazers ESPN
1,152
132
Fri., 1/25/13 8:00 PM Spurs Mavs ESPN
1,117
133
Fri., 11/16/12 7:00 PM Jazz Sixers ESPN
1,101
134
Wed., 2/06/13 9:00 PM Spurs T’Wolves ESPN
1,092
135
Wed., 11/07/12 8:00 PM Sixers Hornets ESPN
1,065
136
Wed., 12/05/12 8:00 PM Nuggets Hawks ESPN
1,060
137
Thu., 4/04/13 7:00 PM Bulls Nets TNT
1,056
138
Fri., 11/09/12 10:30 PM Jazz Nuggets ESPN
1,050
139
Wed., 4/03/13 7:00 PM Knicks Hawks ESPN
997
140
Wed., 3/20/13 8:00 PM Nets Mavs ESPN
983
141
Tue., 4/16/13 10:30 PM Blazers Clippers TNT
872
142
Mon., 1/21/13 1:00 PM Pacers Grizzlies ESPN
781
143
Tue., 4/16/13 8:00 PM Raptors Hawks TNT
774
144
Sat., 4/06/13 7:30 PM Sixers Heat ESPN
638

(Numbers from various sources, including ESPN, The Futon Critic, and Son of the Bronx)

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