The NBA Draft drew an average minute streaming audience of 135,200 viewers, up 55 percent from 2016, according to data provided by the network. The Draft also drew 1,153,500 unique viewers, up 107 percent from last year. ESPN delivered 39,215,000 total minutes streamed for the NBA Draft.
In addition, ESPN’s linear coverage of the Draft averaged a 2.7 metered market rating, up 13 percent from the 2.4 rating in 2016, according to Nielsen data. It matched the third-highest rated NBA Draft on ESPN. The telecast peaked with a 4.0 rating from 8:15-8:30 p.m. ET.
The top local market was Louisville, which generated a 5.3 rating. The rest of the top 10 local markets are: Charlotte (4.7); Indianapolis (4.4); Norfolk (4.0); Oklahoma City (3.9); Raleigh-Durham (3.8); Los Angeles (3.8); Las Vegas (3.8); Richmond (3.7); San Antonio (3.6).
The spike in the linear ratings for the Draft coincided with an uptick in the ratings for the NBA Finals, which saw the Golden State Warriors defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in a five-game series.
The 2017 championship averaged 20.4 million total viewers, up from 20.2 million viewers for last season’s seven-game series. This year’s Finals also averaged an additional 434,000 digital streaming viewers, according to ESPN, which produces ABC’s NBA telecasts.
Game five averaged 24.5 million viewers, making it the most watched game five since 1998, and an additional 537,000 streaming viewers.
The ABC telecast averaged a 16.0 metered-market rating, up 13 percent from Game 5 in both 2016 and 2015. In Golden State’s home San Francisco-Oakland market, the game drew a 39.6. In Cleveland it drew a 37.1.