In what shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers were the most-watched NBA teams during the regular season.
In the 30 games that Golden State played in front of a nationally televised audience (not including NBA TV), the two-time defending champs averaged 2.83 million viewers. Cleveland came in second with an average of 2.38 million in its 30 nationally televised games.
Considering Cleveland and Golden State have competed in each of the past two NBA Finals, this is hardly surprising news. Add in the star power each team possesses, and that’s magnified further.
The more interesting dynamic here is a bit lower on the totem pole.
Warriors were the most-watched team on national TV, averaging 2.8M over 30 games (not including NBA TV). Cavs 2nd, Knicks 5th, Pacers last. pic.twitter.com/Kd82dpm5uD
— Sports Media Watch (@paulsen_smw) April 15, 2017
As you can see the New York Knicks and all their dysfunction put up the fifth-best viewership ratings in the NBA. One has to wonder whether the draw there was to see if Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson would go to blows.
Joking aside, it is interesting that New York would draw better ratings than the Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers. Then again, we’re talking about the top media market in the United States. That surely played a role.
We know that fans around the Association likely aren’t rooting for a third consecutive Finals between Golden State and Cleveland. That can’t be said for the NBA, who would continue to see major ratings if these two teams were to meet again this upcoming June.