NBA Streaming Viewership More Than Doubled This Year as Cord Cutting Grows




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basketball fans watching tv

The NBA is bringing in historically high streaming viewers this year, more than doubling its audience from 2022 reports. The league’s recent Finals were a huge contributor to the massive increase as fans saw the Denver Nuggets achieve its first championship title after 47 years.

From June 1st through June 12th, the NBA’s Finals brought over twice as many views on streaming platforms compared to 2022.

As reported by NPAW:

“Global NPAW customer data reveals that this year’s finals saw more than a two-fold increase in both plays (+237 percent) and unique viewers (+253 percent) compared to 2022, with the total playtime increasing by 82 percent.”

The NBA Finals showed the attraction of live sports coverage for streaming subscribers, outperforming the average number of views for the three months leading up to the games. NPAW states that “plays increased by 31 percent compared to the previous three months, while playtime surged by 65 percent and 10 percent more unique users tuned in.”

NPAW noted that the NBA Finals were competing for views alongside other major sporting events, such as The Champions League final, Roland Garros, Formula 1, and Moto GP. This could be a contributing factor to the decrease in average playtime per user, which fell 19 percent since 2022.

The NBA Finals take place throughout five games. Shockingly, the final game of the Finals wasn’t the most played of the bunch. The fourth game in the series brought in the most streaming plays with almost twice as many compared to the other games. Although more people pushed play for the game, NPAW found that the fourth game recorded less viewing time compared to the other games, especially Game 5. 

The Final game recorded a “43 percent increase in both average playtime and average playtime per user.” Meaning, more people tuned in and stayed tuned in for the duration of the game.

Even as more people are turning to streaming platforms for live sports content, traditional TV is still showing top viewership numbers for live games, reporting 40 percent of all playtime, while 22 percent of smartphone users are watching via their devices.

How do you prefer to watch sports? On the go via a portable device or is sitting around the TV more your style?

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