The NBA Playoffs are here, with a bunch of interesting storylines, and the ratings showed that viewership won't be waning much this postseason.
The first weekend of the playoffs was highlighted by Game 1 of the Lakers-Spurs series. The game drew a 4.6 overnight rating, the best for an opening weekend game since 2003. That was all the way back when Kevin Garnett led the Timberwolves up against the Lakers. That game was the highest-rated opening weekend telecast ever for ABC. The game was also up 18 percent from ABC's broadcast of Lakers-Nuggets in the same timeslot in 2012. The game drew an 11.1 rating in Los Angeles.
Earlier in the weekend, Game 1 of the Celtics-Knicks series opened the NBA Playoffs with a 3.7 overnight rating. That was down three percent from ABC's telecast of Heat-Knicks to open the 2012 Playoffs, but up three percent from Heat-76ers in 2011. The game drew a 7.9 rating in New York, the second-highest rating for a first-round game ever, on any network, in the New York market.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Game 1 of Nuggets-Warriors drew a 2.4, with no comparable telecast last year. The primetime doubleheader -- featuring Game 1s of Bulls-Nets and Grizzlies-Clippers -- drew matching 2.6 ratings. Chicago-Brooklyn is up 24 percent from Indiana-Orlando in 2012, while Memphis-Los Angeles is down 16 percent from Oklahoma City-Dallas. The Clippers did draw a 6.1 rating in LA, the second-highest rated first-round game in the market ever on ESPN.