The Portland Trail Blazers’ 126-121 win over the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA’s first-ever play-in game averaged 1.9 million viewers, which was up seven percent from the NBA on ABC seeding games.
“That is a good number,” longtime sports television executive Neal Pilson said of the Blazers-Grizzlies match-up. “It’s a good rating and a good audience. It demonstrates games that have significance – win or lose – almost in any sport, do get a larger audience than an average league game.”
“We won the day,” added NBA league executive Byron Spruell in an interview with CNBC. “To have that many million viewers watching our product and that match-up and the inaugural play-in, that was huge for us.”
The NBA plans to discuss adding the play-in model for future seasons.
“We’re excited about the foundation that has been set for the play-in and where we can go for the future,” Spruell said.