This year’s NBA Draft which had plenty of buzz going into the event certainly scored for ESPN. The Draft averaged a 2.7 overnight rating which is up 13% from last year’s event. It peaked at a 4.0 rating in the 8:15-8:30 p.m. ET quarter-hour.

ESPN is really ecstatic about its streaming numbers. The Draft had an average minute streaming audience of 135,200 viewers. That’s up 55% from last year. It had 1.153 unique viewers online and that’s an increase of 107%.

Here are the top ten local markets for the NBA Draft:

1. Louisville — 5.3
2. Charlotte — 4.7
3. Indianapolis — 4.4
4. Norfolk — 4.0
5. Oklahoma City — 3.9
6. Raleigh-Durham/Los Angeles/Las Vegas — 3.8
9. Richmond — 3.7
10. San Antonio — 3.6

The NBA Draft continues a good month for ESPN’s family of networks. The NBA Finals, Sunday Night Baseball, the College World Series and Women’s College World Series all have experienced ratings increases for June.

And with Wimbledon and the Home Run Derby coming next month, ESPN has good reason to believe that the summer will continue to bring viewers to the network. The NBA Draft has brought ESPN some momentum and a reason to boast. It’s the big events that help to bring eyeballs to the network. It’s also a major reason why ESPN pays so much money to air these events especially in primetime.

[ESPN]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.