Nets boffo box office leads to new national game show

TNT added another game to its national television program on Wednesday. The Nets-Wizards game at Barclays Center on December 21, Spencer Dinwiddie’s return to Brooklyn, will now be televised on TNT. It will replace the originally planned Pacers-Heat game.

And why not? The Nets and their superstars continue to prove they are among the best draws on national television, generating big numbers for TNT and ESPN.

Tuesday’s Warriors-Suns and Nets-Knicks averaged 2.1 million viewers, making it the non-Opening Might NBA regular-season double-play since 2019. The Nets-Knicks averaged 1.8 million viewers on TNT, peaking at 2.7 million in the fourth quarter. It was also TNT’s top local market score for a Knicks or Nets regular season game in town since 2017.

The Warriors-Suns game averaged 2.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched game of the season other than Opening Night when the Lakers-Warriors drew 3.4 million. It broke the previous record set two weeks earlier when the Nets-Warriors game drew 2.3 million viewers on TNT.

This new Wizards-Nets game on TNT will not be seen in New York, however. The game will be on YES but off on TNT. This is because, as Brian Lewis explained in a series of tweets, the Nets have reached their limit of 12 domestic games – the first time in their history that this has happened. National broadcasters (not counting NBA TV) can make 12 games exclusive, that is, locally hidden.

Overall, ratings for the NBA’s domestic game shows are up from 2020 and 2019, the last season unaffected by the global pandemic.

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