Brooklyn Nets games on YES get 69% bump since James Harden’s arrival

RSN averaging more than 122k viewers for its in-market NBA broadcasts.

by Tom Bassam

Brooklyn Nets games on YES get 69% bump since James Harden’s arrival
  • Nine of the 19 Nets matches this season have averaged more than 100k viewers
  • Prior to the 2020/21 campaign, that figure was only reached seven times over the last six seasons
  • Nets viewership on NBA League Pass also up 41% domestically

YES Network, the New York-based regional sports network (RSN), has revealed huge jumps in viewership for its Brooklyn Nets broadcasts since former MVP James Harden joined the National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise.

According to Nielsen data published by the network, average viewership this season has grown by 69 per cent, from 72,000 to 122,000, since Harden’s Nets debut on 16th January.

The Nets’ narrow defeat to the Washington Wizards on 31st January saw an average of 119,000 viewers tune in, the ninth YES broadcast this season to average more than 100,000 viewers out of 19 Nets matches aired by the RSN. Prior to this season, YES had only recorded seven Nets matches over the past six seasons that averaged more than that 100,000 figure.

The average of 94,000 total viewers until 31st January is the best start for a Nets season on YES since the 2012/13 season, the team’s first in Brooklyn, which averaged 108,000 viewers.

Outside the New York area it is a similar story. Figures released by the NBA to Forbes show that in the nine games since Harden’s arrival, average viewership for Nets games on the League Pass over-the-top (OTT) streaming platform is up 24 per cent globally, 41 per cent in the US and 19 per cent internationally, compared to Brooklyn’s first 13 games of the regular season without him.

Forbes says that average Nets viewing hours on League Pass since Harden arrived in Brooklyn are also up 39 per cent overall and 80 per cent domestically. The two most-watched League Pass games across the entire NBA since the 31-year-old joined the team have both been Nets games, according to the report.  

Elsewhere in the league, the Sacramento Kings are seeking to boost their broadcast and fan engagement offering by adopting Intel’s True View technology at Golden 1 Center. The installation of the volumetric broadcast system allows fans to access unique video content, including 360-degree highlights, via the Kings + Golden 1 Center app and team social channels.

The Kings join the Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks among the NBA teams deploying the Intel technology.