NBA Finals Ratings Jump 32% From 2020’s Pandemic-Hindered Series

The NBA Finals pitting the Milwaukee Bucks against the Phoenix Suns averaged 9.91 million viewers on ABC, a 32% jump from the 2020 series held during the depths of the pandemic.

The sixth game, which saw the Bucks clinch their first NBA title in 50 years, drew an audience of 12.5 million -- up 50% from last year’s matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat.

Though this year’s event featured smaller-market teams, it may have made for better television than a 2020 series held in a pandemic “bubble” in Florida. Last year’s finals also faced more competition for viewers since multiple pro sports restarted their seasons around the same time following a Covid-19 pause. Also, fewer fans watched the series at bars in 2020.

Tuesday’s Game 6 also attracted the best ratings in Milwaukee and Phoenix in 25 years on ABC, part of Walt Disney Co.

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