Lakers-Clippers Opening Night viewership on TNT 32% higher than Warriors-Thunder in 2018

Torrey HartYahoo Sports Contributor

Tuesday’s NBA Opening Night game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers drew a 32-percent increase in viewership on TNT over last year’s game in the comparable time slot, Turner Sports announced Wednesday.

The telecast average 3.6 million viewers. Further, the matchup generated a 9.7 rating, the highest regular-season rating for a TNT telecast in the market since 2013, according to the announcement.

The night’s doubleheader began with the Zion Williamson-less New Orleans Pelicans taking on the defending champion Toronto Raptors, and saw a 26-percent increase in male viewers age 18-34 (21% for viewers of all genders in that same age range) overall.

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Last year’s comparable game window saw the defending champion Golden State Warriors host the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oakland – a formerly highly-touted matchup, in part because it pitted Kevin Durant against his prior team.

TNT will televise 12 Tuesday and 19 Thursday doubleheaders in all during the 2019-20 season; all games are available to stream online and on the Watch TNT app, as well as on traditional television. The network will also air NBA All-Star 2020 events from Feb. 14-16 in Chicago, and exclusively televise the 2020 Western Conference Finals.

LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard were undoubtedly a factor in a massive increase in viewership on the NBA's opening night. (AP)
LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard were undoubtedly a factor in a massive increase in viewership on the NBA's opening night. (AP)

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