ESPN generated its highest-rated NBA Conference Finals Game 1 since 2012 on Tuesday, according to Nielsen. The Golden State Warriors 116-94 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers delivered a 5.8 metered market rating, up four percent from the most recent NBA Western Conference Finals Game 1 – Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs in 2017 – that drew a 5.6 rating. It was also up seven percent from ESPN’s Eastern Conference Finals Game 1 last year – Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics – that drew a 5.4 rating. Last night’s Game 1 peaked with a 6.3 rating from 10:45-11 p.m. ET.
ESPN also generated its highest-rated NBA Draft Lottery presented by State Farm telecast ever on Tuesday. The Draft Lottery telecast drew a 3.9 metered market rating, peaking with a 4.3 rating from 8:45-9 p.m. It was up 77 percent from a 2.2 rating for last year’s telecast. Additionally, it was up 22 percent from the 2015 Draft Lottery telecast, which held the previous record rating with a 3.2. The top local markets for the Draft Lottery telecast were Cleveland (7.6), Norfolk (7.5), New York (6.7), Hartford (5.8) and Washington, D.C. (5.6).
The top five local markets for ESPN’s NBA Western Conference Finals Game 1 telecast were San Francisco-Oakland (21.9), Portland (20.5), Sacramento (10.2), Norfolk (7.4), and Charlotte (7.4).
The Western Conference Finals continues with Game 2 on Thursday at 9 p.m. on ESPN, the ESPN App, ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes.