ESPN’s coverage of the 2017 NBA Draft averaged a 2.7 metered market rating, up 13 percent from a 2.4 in 2016, according to Nielsen. Hosted by anchor Rece Davis (photo above), the event was held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and matches the third-highest rated NBA Draft on ESPN. The telecast peaked with a 4.0 rating from 8:15-8:30 p.m. ET.
The NY Knicks drafted French guard Frank Ntilkina with the eighth pick overall. Markelle Fultz of Washington was the No. 1 pick by the Philadelphia 76ers, which moved up from No. 3 in a trade with the Boston Celtics.
The hometown Brooklyn Nets picked No. 22 despite having the worst record in the league last season. They selected center Jarrett Allen from Tecas.
ESPN said it set several NBA Draft streaming records on Thursday. The NBA Draft drew an average minute streaming audience of 135,200 viewers, up 55 percent from 2016, and 1,153,500 unique viewers, up 107 percent from last year. ESPN delivered 39,215,000 total minutes streamed for the NBA Draft.
The NBA Draft on ESPN generated a 5.3 rating in the Louisville market, making it the top local market. The rest of the top 10 markets include: Charlotte (4.7); Indianapolis (4.4); Norfolk (4.0); Oklahoma City (3.9); Raleigh-Durham (3.8); Los Angeles (3.8); Las Vegas (3.8); Richmond (3.7); San Antonio (3.6).
ESPN’s NBA Draft telecast is the latest live event / event series in June to generate ratings or viewership increases on ESPN television and streaming platforms. In addition to the NBA Draft, the NBA Finals, Sunday Night Baseball, the College World Series and the Women’s College World Series have all generated increases this month.