ESPN has announced that this year’s NBA Draft was the “most-watched NBA Draft ever on any network” according to the latest Nielsen ratings.
The first round, held in Brooklyn’s Barclays Centre, averaged 4,928,000 viewers across ESPN and ABC platforms, up 24% from last year’s first round viewership. The broadcast achieved a peak audience of 6,085,000.
Since first airing the NBA Draft on both ESPN and ABC, the dedicated sports broadcaster has continued to flesh out its coverage of the event, focusing on more personal stories connected with the top draft prospects as well as more interviews pre and post being drafted.
Much of the 2023 draft’s attention can be attributed to the eventual number one overall pick Victor Wembanyama, who has been hailed as one of the greatest prospects in NBA history by media, draft analysts, and league experts alike.
Another intriguing element to the NBA Draft was the battle to see who would go second and third. Ultimately, Brandon Miller was selected second by the Charlotte Hornets and Scoot Henderson was chosen third by the Portland Trail Blazers.
Streaming data was not taken into account for the final viewership figures, which ESPN announced will be revealed this week.