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TNT says NBA return doubled pre-COVID ratings

Whatever the reason, TNT says the two games averaged 2.9 million total viewers, or twice what a regular season game averaged.
Credit: AP
New Orleans Pelicans' JJ Redick (4) is helped up by his teammates during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)

Perhaps it was the lack of live sports programming for months that whetted the appetite of sports fans, or maybe it was the lack of new programming - sports or not - altogether.

Or, perhaps it was the NBA starting with the two Los Angeles teams - not coincidentally the first and second place teams in the west - along with high profile Rookie Zion Williamson.

Whatever the reason, TNT says the two games averaged 2.9 million total viewers, or twice what a regular season game averaged prior to the coronavirus pandemic shutdown.

It didn't hurt that both the Utah-New Orleans and Lakers-Clippers games went down to the wire with each game decided by a bucket.

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Credit: AP
Members of the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz kneel together around the Black Lives Matter logo on the court during the national anthem before the start of an NBA basketball game Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)