Memphis Grizzlies Jamorant # 12 baskets to play against the Golden State Warriors in the second half of Round 3 of the NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals at the Chase Center on May 7, 2022 in San Francisco, CA. Head to.
Sheeron W. Henderson | Getty Images
The NBA is in a strong position as it has recovered from the pandemic and is preparing for the next media rights cycle over the next few years. The number of viewers in the playoffs increased with little participation from teams in the huge markets of New York and Los Angeles. The league’s biggest star, LeBron James, hasn’t even played in the playoffs.
Audiences are paying attention to see the Golden State Warriors returning to the title battle after missing the playoffs last year. The Boston Celtics are also collecting big numbers as the famous franchise is trying to add the 18th title banner to its arena rafters. Young electric stars Ja Morant and Luka Doncic also helped the NBA recover their playoffs after a two-year downfall caused by a pandemic.
“The NBA is no longer dependent on one or two teams,” said long-time sports media executive Neil Pillson. “They are no longer dependent on major market teams. That’s proof of strength.”
The NBA Conference Finals began earlier this week Warner Bros. Discovery Property Turner Sports Disney-Owned ABC and ESPN networks. Throughout the early conference finals matches, post-season games have averaged 3.7 million viewers on the network, an increase of 14% compared to 2021.
More than 6 million people watched the match at one of the 2022 Western Conference Finals between the Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks. ESPN also reported that approximately 6 million viewers watched games 1 and 2 of the Celtics-Miami Heat series. NBA uses metrics from measuring companies Nielsen Because of its viewing statistics.
The $ 24 billion deal and Turner with the NBA’s ESPN will end after the 2024-25 campaign. Speculation about whether the NBA will adopt streaming services in the next round of transactions.
The league will have a strong hand to play primarily for its young star.
Pillson, former president of CBS Sports, pointed out the NBA’s team balance and promotion of young stars as reasons fans are interested. Morant of Memphis Grizzlies and Doncic of Dallas put the NBA in a “healthy situation” for a favorable trading rights, he said.
The popularity of 22-year-old Morant helped lead Memphis Grizzlies to the hottest playoff series to date. The Grizzlies series against the Warriors averaged 5.9 million viewers in six games. This includes 7.7 million viewers who have watched Game 1, the most highly rated game in the playoffs to date.
Morant missed the last three games of the series due to an injury. However, he is expected to return next season, so expect the national network to feature more Grizzlies games.
The Dallas Mavericks Luca Donchitch # 77 will handle the ball in Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Final at Chase Center in San Francisco, California on May 18, 2022.
Noah Graham | NBA | Getty Images
The 23-year-old Doncic brought the Mavericks seven wins over top-seeded Phoenix Suns on Sunday. The average viewership of the game was 6.3 million, making it the fifth-watched game in this year’s playoffs.
“You can wear Memphis and Dallas to get the crowd,” Pillson said, adding that the NBA “isn’t dependent on the Lakers and isn’t dependent on the Knicks.”
However, the league will be tested at the NBA Finals in June.
The average audience for the NBA Finals was 2021, with Milwaukee Bucks and his superstar Giannis Antetokompo defeating Sands. This is an increase from an average audience of 7.5 million in the 2020 NBA Finals featuring the Lakers, who are currently playing in front of the 37-year-old James and the Orlando Covid Bubble Sky Arena. But far less than the 15.1 million viewers who watched the 2019 NBA Finals featuring the Warriors and the Toronto Raptors.
Of the remaining teams, the Heat-Mavericks finals may not reach the top audience like the Celtics-Warriors and Celtics-Mavericks series. However, Pilson said the remaining star players, including Warriors superstar Stephen Curry, are still sufficient to attract a significant audience. The profile of the Celtics 24-year-old top star Jayson Tatum has also grown during this postseason.
“More NBA teams can support the finals in terms of athletes and ratings than they did ten years ago,” he said. “It’s a seaside property. Sports are driving the television economy, so rights are high and sponsors have to pay the maximum.”
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) was fouled by the Miami Heat forward PJ Tucker (17) in the first quarter. The Miami Heat will host the Boston Celtics at Game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals on May 19, 2022 at the FTX Arena in Miami, Florida.
Matthew J. Lee | The Boston Globe | Getty Images
At the NBA’s board meeting in New York in April, league commissioner Adam Silver said it was “premature” to consider adding a new partner to the next rights deal. I’m currently spending time playing sports on the Apple TV + service.
“The discussion we’re doing now has more to do with forecasts and where the media market is heading,” Silver said. “I think many of these rights that have traditionally gone from traditional services to streaming services will continue to change. Frankly, consumers are heading for that too.”
But how the NBA packages these rights is floating in the air. Apple became interested in entering the sports media business this spring when it signed a deal to acquire MLB rights. Amazon is already trading with the NBA because it is streaming WNBA games.
“I think that’s the direction the media is heading in this country,” Silver said. “People want personalization. They want customization.”
He added that the streaming platform provides sports fans with “flexibility and attributes not found in traditional satellite and cable distribution.”