Enough complaints about TV ratings, the number on Nuggets-Lakers was huge
May 24, 2023, 4:21 PM | Updated: May 25, 2023, 6:43 am
Many have lamented the TV ratings disaster that will be the Denver Nuggets in an NBA Finals, particularly against the Miami Heat when the battle for an 18th championship between Boston and Los Angeles was an option.
Nobody is denying that a Celtics-Lakers Finals would’ve been fun for casuals and would’ve had built-in storylines. But simply the Nuggets and Heat are better teams which is why all signs point toward their matchup next week. On top of that, maybe the ratings for the league’s best player and best underdog story won’t be that bad.
The Nuggets did huge numbers on TV in finishing off the Lakers via sweep on Saturday and Monday. Game 4 drew an average of 8.2 million viewers for the tight Denver win. That number was about the same for Game 3 but the close-out game peaked at a higher 11.48 million viewers, their largest audience for a Game 4 in the Conference Finals in nearly a decade.
Per ESPN: The Nuggets' Game 4 clincher over the Lakers on Monday night averaged 8.2 million viewers with a peak of 11.48 million from 11-11:15 pm ET, in preliminary Nielsen data. It's the most-watched NBA conference finals Game 4 on ESPN platforms since 2015, the network said.
— Bill Shea (@Bill_Shea19) May 23, 2023
🏀 #LakeShow vs. #BringItIn on @ABCNetwork Saturday night drew an average audience of 8,384,000 viewers, peaking with 10,788,000 viewers. It was the largest NBA Conference Finals Game 3 audience on any network in 12 years. (Nielsen). pic.twitter.com/qamRdjP5Cn
— Ben Cafardo (@Ben_ESPN) May 23, 2023
Yes it’s true that the game may have been the last in LeBron James’ legendary career but the audience was also witness to Nikola Jokic’s record-breaking eighth playoff triple-double this postseason as he turned it on in clutch time to push Denver through to its first NBA Finals.
The Finals will tip in Denver on June 1, as the Nuggets look to capture their first title ever. And it looks as though more folks will be watching than some expected.