Love Them or Hate Them, the Lakers Ensure Big NBA Playoffs Ratings | Adweek Love Them or Hate Them, the Lakers Ensure Big NBA Playoffs Ratings | Adweek
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(Almost) Everybody Hates Kobe

Lakers, Knicks a huge draw for TNT, ESPN
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The NBA’s other postseason partners are also firing on all cylinders. Through its first three NBA Playoff games, ABC has averaged 5.84 million viewers, an improvement of 24 percent from 4.6 million over the corresponding period in 2010.

As one might expect, the Lakers-Hornets clash has been a boon to ABC. Game 1 lured 5.95 million viewers on April 17, making it ABC’s most-viewed opening weekend Playoff broadcast since 2003.

ESPN is also well up over last season’s average, drawing 3.58 million viewers over the course of seven games, good for a 23 percent increase from 2.91 million.

Both nets are also seeing double-digit growth across all key male demos. ESPN is up 24 percent among men 18-49, while ABC has boosted its share of the demo by 28 percent.

Oddly enough, the NBA did not account for cable’s biggest deliveries in April. Four episodes of History’s Pawn Stars outdrew the fourth Lakers-Hornets game.