NBA Wrap: ESPN Has Record-Setting Season

Posted by | April 16, 2011 at 5:26 AM

In a season where NBA viewership rose across the board, ESPN’s 29% increase from last year was actually the lowest among the league’s three broadcast partners.

ESPN averaged a 1.3 U.S. rating and 2.025 million viewers for NBA coverage during the 2010-11 season, up 18% in ratings and 29% in viewership from last year (1.1, 1.571M), and up 18% and 21%, respectively, from 2008-09 (1.1, 1.680M).

Keep in mind this does not include Wednesday’s season-ending doubleheader, which featured Hornets/Mavericks (0.9, 1.330M) and Grizzlies/Clippers (0.9, 1.192M).

This marks the most-viewed NBA season ever on ESPN, topping the previous record set during the aforementioned 2008-09 season. This marks the third time in four years that ESPN has set a viewership record for the NBA.

The top game on ESPN this season was Knicks/Heat on February 27 (4.213M), which also ranks as the network’s third-most viewed game since reacquiring rights to the league in 2002.

Twelve of ESPN’s 20 most-viewed NBA games took place this season alone. Of those twelve, eight involved the Miami Heat, and two more had a Heat game as a lead-in.

Fellow cable outlet TNT averaged a 1.6 U.S. rating and 2.453 million viewers for NBA coverage this season, the most-viewed season ever on Turner Sports. (Click for more details).

Meanwhile, corporate sibling ABC earned a 3.0 and 5.110 million viewers for its fifteen games, the highest rated, most-viewed season on the network since reacquiring rights in 2002. (Click for more details).

Ratings/Viewership For the NBA on ESPN
During the 2010-11 Season














































































Date Time Game Net Rating Viewers (000)
Wed., 10/27/10 8 PM CHI 95, OKC 106 ESPN
1.2
1,697
10:30 PM POR 98, LAC 88 ESPN
1.2
1,854
Fri., 10/29/10 8 PM ORL 70, MIA 96 ESPN
2.3
3,774
10:30 PM LAL 114, PHX 106 ESPN
2.0
3,168
Wed., 11/3/10 8 PM MIL 102, BOS 105 ESPN
1.7
2,451
10:30 PM LAL 112, SAC 100 ESPN
1.6
2,329
Fri., 11/5/10 8 PM CHI 105, BOS 110 ESPN
1.6
2,473
10:30 PM LAC 104, DEN 111 ESPN
1.2
1,914
Wed., 11/10/10 7 PM UTA 104, ORL 94 ESPN
1.1
1,589
9:30 PM LAC 95, SAS 107 ESPN
1.1
1,588
Fri., 11/12/10 7 PM UTA 90, ATL 86 ESPN
1.0
1,440
9:30 PM POR 108, OKC 110 ESPN
1.2
1,669
Wed., 11/17/10 7 PM PHX 96, MIA 123 ESPN
1.4
2,098
9:30 PM CHI 94, SAS 103 ESPN
1.4
1,914
Fri., 11/19/10 7 PM OKC 89, BOS 84 ESPN
1.4
2,121
9:30 PM CHI 88, DAL 83 ESPN
1.2
1,771
Wed., 11/24/10 7:30 PM MIA 95, ORL 104 ESPN
2.0
2,985
Fri., 11/26/10 7 PM HOU 89, CHA 99 ESPN2
0.3
442
9:30 PM GSW 111, MEM 116 ESPN2
0.4
530
Fri., 12/3/10 8 PM CHI 92, BOS 104 ESPN
1.6
2,389
10:30 PM DAL 93, UTA 81 ESPN
1.0
1,468
Wed., 12/8/10 7 PM DEN 89, BOS 105 ESPN
1.3
1,899
Fri., 12/10/10 8 PM LAL 84, CHI 88 ESPN
1.6
2,480
10:30 PM MIA 106, GSW 84 ESPN
1.8
2,756
Wed., 12/15/10 7 PM BOS 118, NYK 116 ESPN
1.8
2,787
9:30 PM POR 98, DAL 103 ESPN
1.2
1,809
Fri., 12/17/10 7 PM MIA 113, NYK 91 ESPN
1.9
2,768
9:30 PM PHX 91, DAL 106 ESPN
1.3
2,022
Sat., 12/25/10 12:30 PM CHI 95, NYK 103 ESPN
2.3
4,017
8 PM DEN 106, OKC 114 ESPN
1.2
2,028
10:30 PM POR 102, GSW 109 ESPN
1.1
1,725
Wed., 1/5/11 10:30 PM LAL 99, PHX 95 ESPN
1.5
2,140
Fri., 1/7/11 8 PM HOU 95, ORL 110 ESPN
0.8
1,175
10:30 PM NYK 121, PHX 96 ESPN
0.9
1,295
Fri., 1/14/11 8 PM DAL 89, SAS 101 ESPN
0.9
1,348
10:30 PM POR 111, PHX 115 ESPN
0.8
1,099
Sun., 1/16/11 9 PM DEN 97, SAS 110 ESPN
0.9
1,403
Mon., 1/17/11 1 PM CHI 96, MEM 84 ESPN
0.7
946
Wed., 1/19/11 9 PM LAL 100, DAL 109 ESPN
1.2
1,841
Fri., 1/21/11 8 PM NYK 92, SAS 101 ESPN
1.2
1,844
10:30 PM LAL 107, DEN 97 ESPN
1.5
2,369
Wed., 1/26/11 9:30 PM SAS 112, UTA 105 ESPN
0.8
1,263
Fri., 1/28/11 10:30 PM BOS 71, PHX 88 ESPN
1.2
1,999
Sun., 1/30/11 10 PM UTA 81, GSW 96 ESPN
0.6
977
Fri., 2/4/11 8 PM DAL 101, BOS 97 ESPN
1.5
2,370
10:30 PM UTA 113, DEN 106 ESPN
1.2
1,837
Fri., 2/11/11 8 PM LAL 113, NYK 96 ESPN
1.5
2,298
10:30 PM PHX 95, UTA 83 ESPN
1.1
1,579
Sun., 2/13/11 9 PM OKC 94, GS 100 ESPN
0.9
1,331
Wed, 2/16/11 9 PM DEN 94, MIL 87 ESPN
0.7
1,046
Fri., 2/18/11 7 PM NBA All-Star Celebrity Game ESPN
1.5
2,358
Wed., 2/23/11 7 PM OKC 105, SA 109 ESPN
1.0
1,491
9:30 PM LAC 87, NO 98 ESPN
1.0
1,540
Fri., 2/25/11 8 PM OKC 88, ORL 111 ESPN
1.3
2,071
10:30 PM DEN 106, POR 107 ESPN
1.0
1,632
Sun., 2/27/11 8 PM NY 91, MIA 86 ESPN
2.7
4,213
10:30 PM ATL 90, POR 83 ESPN
1.2
1,740
Fri., 3/4/11 7 PM CHI 89, ORL 81 ESPN
1.2
1,800
9:30 PM MIA 95, SA 125 ESPN
1.8
2,914
Sun., 3/6/11 6:30 PM NYK 92, ATL 79 ESPN
1.3
1,945
9 PM BOS 89, MIL 83 ESPN
1.5
2,307
Mon., 3/14/11 8 PM SAS 80, MIA 110 ESPN
1.8
2,722
10:30 PM ORL 84, LAL 97 ESPN
1.9
2,788
Wed., 3/16/11 8 PM OKC 96, MIA 85 ESPN
1.9
2,892
10:30 PM DAL 112, GS 106 ESPN
1.2
1,719
Wed., 3/23/11 8 PM ORL 111, NY 99 ESPN
1.3
1,934
10:30 PM SA 112, DEN 115 ESPN
1.3
1,785
Sun., 3/27/11 8 PM POR 90, OKC 99 ESPN
1.0
1,506
10:30 PM DAL 91, PHX 83 ESPN
0.8
1,176
Wed., 3/30/11 7:30 PM NJ 116, NY 120 ESPN
1.1
1,490
Fri., 4/1/11 8 PM BOS 83, ATL 88 ESPN
1.4
2,126
10:30 PM LAL 96, UTA 85 ESPN
1.5
2,400
Wed., 4/6/11 8 PM MIL 90, MIA 85 ESPN
1.2
1,718
10:30 PM LAL 87, GS 95 ESPN
1.5
2,416
Wed., 4/13/11 8 PM NO 89, DAL 121 ESPN
0.9
1,330
10:30 PM MEM 103, LAC 110 ESPN
0.9
1,192

(Season average from ESPN)