As the Denver Nuggets were crowned NBA champions for the first time in the franchise’s history, it drew a curtain on an NBA postseason which attracted the most average viewers in the last five years.
ABC, ESPN and TNT revealed that 5.47 million viewers tuned into this year’s NBA playoffs, accounting for nine of the top 10 most-watched programs in the US across all of television from May onwards.
The NBA Finals, which saw the Nuggets beating the Miami Heat in five, attracted an average audience of 11.64 million viewers. Game five averaged 13.08 million viewers, peaking at an audience of 17.88 million.
The NBA also revealed that this year’s playoffs broke records when it came to social media viewership, garnering eight billion views on multiple social media platforms, as well as NBA’s Twitter account becoming the most-viewed profile on the platform.
2023 NBA Finals MVP Nikola Jokić’s popularity also increased drastically over the course of his memorable run to the championship, jumping from the 18th most viewed player on social media to number one by 1 May, amassing 540 million views.
ESPN NBA playoff coverage was up by 2% from last year, with viewership on all its platforms averaging 6.4 million viewers during the postseason.
Despite the rise in overall viewership for the playoffs this season, the 2023 finals drew slightly less than last year’s average viewership, where the Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics in six and attracted 12.4 million viewers.