Cleveland Cavaliers-Chicago Bulls Showdown Delivers One of ESPN’s Highest-Rated Regular-Season NBA Games Ever


Cleveland Cavaliers-Chicago Bulls Showdown Delivers One of ESPN’s Highest-Rated Regular-Season NBA Games Ever

  • Overtime Thriller Leads to a 3.1 Overnight Rating, Up 48 Percent from Last Year
  • Friday’s ESPN NBA Doubleheader Average Matches Highest-Rated Opening Week Doubleheader Ever
  • #BattleForLA – Lakers Versus Clippers – Up Double-Digits Versus Last Season

ESPN’s telecast of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 114-108 overtime victory over the Chicago Bulls on Friday, Oct. 31, delivered one of the network’s highest-rated, regular-season NBA games ever, according to Nielsen. The game posted a 3.1 overnight rating, up 48 percent from a 2.1 for last season’s comparable game – the Miami Heat versus the Brooklyn Nets. The 3.1 overnight rating matches the third-highest rated regular-season NBA game ever on ESPN.

The second game of Friday’s ESPN NBA doubleheader, in which the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 118-111, delivered a strong 2.1 overnight rating, up 11 percent from a 1.9 for last season’s comparable game – the San Antonio Spurs versus the Lakers – during ESPN’s first night of regular-season NBA game coverage.

In total, Friday’s ESPN NBA doubleheader averaged a 2.7 overnight rating, matching the highest-rated opening-week NBA doubleheader ever on ESPN. It is also up 35 percent from last year’s Friday doubleheader (2.0), which was the first night of ESPN’s NBA regular-season game coverage.

Additional notes

  • Cavaliers-Bulls – in Cleveland, the game generated a 12.4 rating, which is the best ever for a regular-season NBA game on ESPN in the market. In Miami, the telecast posted a 6.1.
  • Lakers-Clippers – in Los Angeles, the telecast generated a 4.0 rating.
  • Kia NBA Countdown, ESPN’s NBA pregame show, delivered a 1.0 leading into Friday’s doubleheader. This matches the highest-rated, regular-season Countdown episode on ESPN since 2009.

The NBA on ESPN continues with a doubleheader on Wednesday, Nov. 5, when the Indiana Pacers visit the Washington Wizards at 8 p.m. ET. In the nightcap, the Los Angeles Clippers will visit the Golden State Warriors at 10:30 p.m. On Friday, ESPN will televise another doubleheader as the Oklahoma City Thunder host the Memphis Grizzlies at 8 p.m., followed by the Denver Nuggets hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers at 10:30 p.m. More details will be available on

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