Doubleheader on ESPN posts 31% Increase in Overnight Ratings vs. 2014 NBA Openers
Wednesday night’s NBA on ESPN Opening Night doubleheader delivered the two best NBA regular season games ever on WatchESPN.
The Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Los Angeles Lakers (10:30 p.m. ET) attracted an average minute audience of 70,000, while the San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (8 p.m.) averaged 63,000, increases of 171 percent and 64 percent, respectively, over the NBA on ESPN Opening Night a year ago.
Timberwolves-Lakers had 240,000 unique viewers watching 11,578,000 live minutes, while Spurs-Thunder had 235,000 uniques and 9,204,000 live minutes.
The previous best NBA regular season game on WatchESPN was Cleveland vs. Chicago on Oct. 31, 2014 with an average minute audience of 57,000 and 9.9 million minutes.
The ESPN on NBA Opening Night games delivered a combined 1.7 metered market rating, according to Nielsen, a 31 percent increase over ESPN’s 2014 opening doubleheader (1.3 rating).
Timberwolves-Lakers posted a 1.8 overnight rating, while Spurs-Thunder delivered a 1.5 in the metered markets. In 2014, the Bulls-Knicks opener posted a 1.4 rating, while the Thunder-Portland Trailblazers matchup did a 1.2 overnight.
Spurs-Thunder delivered a 5.6 local rating in San Antonio, while Oklahoma City posted a 7.4. For Timberwolves-Lakers, local ratings included 1.7 for Minneapolis-St. Paul and 3.6 in Los Angeles.
NBA on ESPN Doubleheader This Friday
The NBA on ESPN continues Friday night, Oct. 30, with a marquee doubleheader – Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat vs. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers (7 p.m. ET) followed by a rematch of the 2015 Western Conference Finals as Steph Curry and the NBA champion Golden State Warriors face James Harden and the Houston Rockets (9:30 p.m.). Both games will air on ESPN and be streamed live on WatchESPN.
Media contact: Ben Cafardo at 860-766-3496 or firstname.lastname@example.org (@Ben_ESPN).