ESPN’s Most-Watched NBA Opening Week Since 2017


ESPN’s Most-Watched NBA Opening Week Since 2017

ESPN’s opening week of NBA game coverage was its most-watched since 2017, according to Nielsen. Its four-game slate, which included doubleheaders on Wednesday, October 20, and Friday, October 22, averaged 1,817,000 viewers. It was up 18 percent from 2019, three percent from 2018 and 46 percent from 2020’s single-game opener (excludes Christmas Day).

The ESPN NBA doubleheader on Friday, October 22, averaged 1,893,000 viewers, up 26 percent from its opening week Friday doubleheader in 2019. The doubleheader was led by the matchup between the defending NBA Western Conference Champion Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers, which averaged 2,093,000 viewers. The early Friday matchup – the Brooklyn Nets vs. the Philadelphia 76ers – averaged 1,681,000 viewers.

In addition, ESPN’s season-opening doubleheader on October 20, included its most-watched season-opening Wednesday game in 18 years for the New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics double overtime thriller. For more information visit ESPN Press Room.


Shakeemah Simmons-Winter

I am a senior publicist for men’s pro sports, working predominantly with the NBA and FIBA properties. I’m a Jersey City, NJ native, so I cheer for all New York sports and athletes, win or lose. I began my sports career as a small forward for JCPS #9’s elementary basketball team, and then years later gave up my hoop dreams (sort of) to work as the Public Relations Coordinator for the New York Knicks. Prior to working in sports, I briefly worked as an intern turned production assistant for the Wendy Williams Show. I earned a B.A. in Communications from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, where I met my husband Matthew, and later attended New York University to earn a M.S. in Public Relations and Corporate Communications. I am excited to continue my sports journey with some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the sports industry.
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