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NBA 2020/21 Regular Season Viewership Down 17% From Pre-Pandemic Numbers – 1.34M Viewers

The NBA is still struggling to attract the same viewership as before the pandemic struck the North American continent. According to data presented by Safe Betting Sites USA, the NBA’s regular-season viewership fell by 17% compared to viewership numbers last year pre-pandemic – down to just 1.34M viewers.

NBA Averaged 1.34M TV Viewers For 2020/21 Regular Season

For their 2019/20 season, as with many other sports, the NBA had to drastically alter its traditional schedule in order to meet the demands imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic. This proved to have very detrimental effects on the NBA’s viewership numbers which can still be felt even in the 2020/21 season, the second season played during the pandemic and the first full season to be played in ‘new normal conditions for its entirety.

In the 2020/21 season, NBA regular-season games averaged 1.34M viewers, a 17% drop from pre-pandemic viewership numbers. Despite the significant drop, the decline was less than that of the much improvised and much delayed 2019/20 Playoff rounds which were played in what became popularly known as “the bubble.” Viewership numbers were down by 37% for the 2019/20 Playoffs compared to pre-pandemic numbers.

2020/21 NBA Playoffs First Round Most Watched In 3 Years

The first round of the 2020/21 NBA playoffs was the most-watched first-round in the last three years. This year’s first-round averaged 3.06M viewers – 46% higher than the previous year’s bubble playoffs and an even 3% increase from 2019’s Playoffs, the last ‘traditional’ playoffs played before the pandemic.

The Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Clippers Game 7 was the most-watched game of the first round, attracting 5.9M viewers on ABC. This is notably 43% higher than the previous year’s first-round game 7 played by the Jazz and the Nuggets although this was played on a weekday compared to this year’s game 7 being played on a Sunday which contributes to the sharp increase in viewership.

Rex Pascual, sports editor at Safe Betting Sites USA, commented;

“Despite the decline in regular-season numbers, the first round of the playoffs might be a good sign that the NBA is on its way back to normalcy in terms of its viewership. In more promising signs that a sense of normalcy is returning is the site of fans watching live in arenas, albeit in much smaller numbers than we are used to but an encouraging sign nonetheless.”


About Rex Pascual

About Rex Pascual

Rex is an online writer and researcher informed by a global perspective that allows him to uniquely analyse numbers and convey them in a relatable way. He specialises in the area of Sports, Esports and the CBD industry as well as having an eye for the latest financial and technological trends. Well versed in SEO and other aspects of digital marketing, he uses his skills to good use on freelancing platforms while being based in the Netherlands.