NBA Finals up over last year, but post 4th-lowest average

Young Scores 48 Points, Hawks Beat Bucks 116 113 In Game 1
Morry Gash

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo reacts after making a shot and being fouled during the second half of Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball finals game against the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday, June 23, 2021, in Milwaukee.

NEW YORK (AP) — Television ratings for the NBA Finals and playoffs posted sizable increases over last year.

But that was the only good news for the NBA as far as viewer numbers. The six-game series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns averaged 9.91 million viewers, a 32% increase over last year’s series between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, which also went six games.

However, the average makes it the fourth-lowest since 1997. Milwaukee’s 105-98 victory over Phoenix on Tuesday night attracted the most viewers in the series, averaging 12.52 million.