NBA Finals 2023 Local TV Ratings: Top Media Markets Missing From Top-10

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NBA Finals 2023 Local TV Ratings: Top Media Markets Missing From Top-10

The Denver Nuggets were crowned NBA Champions on Monday after winning Game 5 of the 2023 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. While it was a historic moment for Denver, which clinched its first-ever title, the series didn’t perform that well for the league and its partners.

Game 5 averaged the most viewers with 13.08 million fans tuning into the elimination game but the rest of the series didn’t perform as strongly.

Unsurprisingly, Denver had the largest local media market for the NBA Finals. With the Nuggets looking for their first NBA Championship ring, Denver had a 21.55 rating through all five games, more than any local market in the US.

The biggest local markets to tune in included Denver, Miami, West Palm Beach (Florida), Milwaukee, and Richmond (Virginia). While the NBA Finals teams were well-represented in the TV ratings, the Heat-Nuggets series only averaged 11.64 million viewers overall.

Most notably, some of the league’s biggest media markets, including Los Angeles, New York, and Boston, were not present in the top 10.

Here is the average household rating for the top 10 local markets for all five NBA Finals games.

  1. Denver, Colorado — 21.55 Rating
  2. Miami, Florida —14.8 Rating
  3. West Palm Beach, Florida — 10.9 Rating
  4. Milwaukee, Wisconsin — 8.54 Rating
  5. Richmond, Virginia — 8.51 Rating
  6. San Antonio — 8.26 Rating
  7. San Francisco — 7.98 Rating
  8. Memphis — 7.95 Rating
  9. Chicago — 7.61 Rating
  10. Norfolk — 7.6 Rating

Miami Heat vs Denver Nuggets TV Viewership

Game 5, which aired on Monday peaked at 17.83 million viewers in the final minutes of the game. Compared to the Golden State Warriors vs Boston Celtics Game 5, the Nuggets vs Heat averaged slightly more viewers 13.08 million compared to 13.02 last year.

Despite viewership being up throughout the NBA playoffs, the Finals series ranked in the bottom five among NBA Finals’ viewership since the 1980s.

The top markets for the series came from Denver and Miami, with bigger markets like Los Angeles and Boston not even ranking in the top 10.

NBA Finals Viewership Down 6% From 2022

Viewership for the Heat vs Nuggets five-game series was down six percent from the 2022 NBA Finals.

Not only was it a short series but the participating teams also played a role in the decline this year.

The two NBA Finals teams ranked outside the NBA’s biggest media markets with Denver and Miami ranked 14th and 16th in market size, respectively.

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