April 16, 2018

NBC Sports Philadelphia gets highest ratings for Sixers game in 15 years

Sixers NBA
Ben Simmons Playoffs Heat Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) reacts after dunking against the Miami Heat during the third quarter in game one of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit:

If you're good, they will watch.

NBC Sports Philadelphia announced Monday that Saturday night's Sixers playoff game was the highest-rated Sixers game they've aired in 15 years.

The network said their broadcast of Game 1 in the first-round series against the Miami Heat had a 6.1 HH rating, reaching about 175,000 households. Those represent the best numbers for a Sixers game on the network since May 10, 2003, when Allen Iverson led the team to a playoff victory in Game 3 of the conference semifinals against the Detroit Pistons. (The Sixers would go on to lose that series.)

The network also had 20,000 unique viewers for their Game 1 live stream.

During the regular season, in which the Sixers improved to 52 wins, NBC Sports saw a 45 percent uptick in average viewership from last season and had its highest viewership since the 2011-12 season — the last time the Sixers made the playoffs.

National networks are also enjoying high ratings for the start of the NBA playoffs. ESPN said its separate broadcast for Game 1 of Sixers/Heat was its highest-rated Saturday opener for the playoffs in five years. Combined, the first four playoff games Saturday were up 17 percent from last year's ratings on ESPN.