ESPN’s NBA Regular Season First-Half Viewership Up Seven Percent


ESPN’s NBA Regular Season First-Half Viewership Up Seven Percent

  • ABC NBA Games Averaging Five Million Viewers, Up Seven Percent
  • Most-Streamed NBA Regular Season Ever on WatchESPN

Through 50 telecasts, ESPN’s NBA regular season first-half viewership is up seven percent compared to last season, according to Nielsen. ESPN is averaging 1,727,000 viewers (p2+) and a 1.1 U.S. household rating, compared to 1,613,000 viewers and an equivalent 1.1 rating at the halfway point last year.

In addition, through six games, ABC’s NBA games are averaging 5,056,000 viewers (p2+) and a 2.9 U.S. household rating, which includes two games in the new NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC series. Viewership is up seven percent from 4,740,000 viewers last season, while the rating is up four percent from a 2.8.

ESPN’s WatchESPN platform has experienced its most-watched NBA regular-season ever. Through 56 games, WatchESPN has averaged 143,500 unique viewers per game and an average minute audience of 38,000. This is up 69 percent and 80 percent, respectively, from 87,800 unique viewers and 21,100 average minute audience at this point during the 2014-15 season.

ESPN and ABC first-half highlights

  • ESPN had its most-watched Christmas prime-time doubleheader ever;
  • ABC’s NBA Finals rematch – Golden State vs. Cleveland – on Christmas drew approximately 11 million viewers, making it the most-watched Christmas game in six years;
  • The new NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC franchise has won the night across multiple key demos in each of its first two broadcasts;
  • ESPN’s Golden State vs. Oklahoma City telecast on Feb. 6, was the most-watched regular-season NBA game on ESPN since 2014 (non-Christmas) and the most-watched NBA regular-season game ever on WatchESPN;
  • Viewership for the NBA All-Star 2016 Celebrity Game on ESPN was up 14 percent compared to last year.

The 2015-16 NBA regular season continues with an action-packed weekend, beginning Friday, Feb. 19 on ESPN, and continuing throughout the weekend on ABC. More details can be found on ESPN Media Zone.


Media contact: Ben Cafardo at 860-766-3496 or [email protected] (@Ben_ESPN).



Ben Cafardo

I lead communications strategy and execution for ESPN’s NBA, MLB, FIBA and Little League World Series properties. I’m also a proud consumer of all things ESPN.
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