NBA Finals ratings have risen, but are still shy for pre-epidemic levels

NBA Final Golden State Warriors

June 16, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, 30, celebrates with the MVP Trophy after beating the Boston Celtics in six games in the 2022 NBA Finals to win the NBA Championship at TD Garden. Compulsory Credit: Kyle Terda-USA Today Sports

According to the Sports Business Journal, the number of spectators at the NBA Finals has increased over the past two years, but the number of spectators before the Covid-19 epidemic has not yet reached.

The six games between the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics averaged 12.4 million spectators in the final, a 25 percent increase over last year’s series between the Box and Sons and a 66 percent increase over the Lakers-Hit series by 2020.

But before the epidemic, at least 15 million spectators per game from 2013-19 took part in the finals. Out of the two seasons affected by the epidemic, this year has been the least visited since 2007, when the Spurs defeated the Cavaliers, a series that averaged just 9.3 million viewers.

Four of the last five finals had at least 17 million spectators where the Warriors appeared The second-lowest viewers return in 2019 for a series featuring the Golden State, where the Raptors defeated the reigning champions in six games.

Game 6 of this year’s final brought about 14 million viewers. The Clinching Game between Box and Sons, which was also a Game 6, brought in 12.5 million, while the Series 6 game between the Lakers and the Hits collected 8.3 million.

While the finals are still trying to recover from the epidemic in terms of its viewership, this year’s championship series has the highest share among U.S. television viewers since 2017.

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