Warriors-Kings Game 7 draws record-breaking TV viewership numbers

It wasn’t just Steph Curry who was breaking records in Sunday’s Game 7 — but his 50-point afternoon sure helped, too.

The final matchup between the Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings delivered ABC’s largest-ever non-NBA Finals postseason audience, with 9.835 million people tuning in. The total viewership peaked at just shy of 12 million people tuning in from 6-6:15 p.m. (11.929 million).

Overall, it’s the most-watched first round game in 24 years and the most-watched game in the first two rounds of the NBA playoffs since 2001. In fact, SportsMediaWatch points out that, in last year’s playoffs, only the six Warriors NBA Finals games and Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals (Celtics-Heat had 9.88 million viewers) had more viewers than Game 7.

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The final game of the first round series wasn’t the only one to get massive television numbers. Friday’s Game 6 on ESPN drew an all-time first round record of 4.98 million viewers and peaked at 6.51 million viewers, despite going directly against the NFL Draft.

The Warriors-Kings showdown also drew massive audiences for the ESPN family of networks in both Game 1 (6.26 million viewers) and Game 4 (7.52 million viewers), which both aired on ABC.

The three games of the series that aired on TNT did well, too, as Game 2 had 4.32 million viewers, Game 3 had 4.12 million and Game 5 had 4.29 million. It’s pretty clear that the defending champions facing off with a young upstart from the same region seems to have been a captivating storyline to get casual fans to tune in.

And one has to imagine the NBA is salivating at what’s to come for the Warriors in the second round: a matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Steph vs. LeBron? NorCal vs. SoCal? The Bay vs. LA? The franchise with four titles in the past eight years against the franchise with the most NBA Finals appearances?

It feels safe to assume that the viewership numbers are going to only get bigger from here.

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