ESPN & ABC to Deliver Their Highest-Rated NBA Seasons

April 13, 2011

According to leading research firm Nielsen, ESPN and ABC are on pace to deliver their highest-rated and most-viewed National Basketball Association (NBA) seasons as the 2010-11 campaign concludes today, April 13, on ESPN.

ABC is averaging a 3.1 rating; 3,607,000 household impressions; and 5,268,000 viewers through 14 broadcasts, while ESPN is averaging a 1.5 rating; 1,543,000 household impressions; and 2,025,000 viewers.

ABC’s highest-rated and most-viewed season to date, since its return to the sport in 2002-03, was a 2.6 rating; 2,826,000 household impressions; and 3,761,000 viewers. ESPN’s highest-rated season was 2003-04 (1.3 rating) and most-viewed season was 2008-09 (1,299,000 household impressions and 1,680,000 viewers).

The NBA on ABC is up 43 per cent in viewership (3,694,000), 36 per cent in household impressions (2,643,000) and 35 per cent in ratings (2.3) over last season’s 15 broadcasts. ESPN is up 29 per cent in viewers (1,571,000), 27 per cent in household impressions (1,218,000) and 25 per cent in ratings (1.2) compared to last year.

The NBA’s pre-game shows on ESPN and ABC are also experiencing double-digit gains this season with ABC’s Buick Regal NBA Countdown averaging a 40 per cent spike in viewership (1,636,000 vs. 1,168,000), a 30 per cent jump in household impressions (1,206,000 vs. 929,000) and a 25 per cent increase in ratings (1.0 vs. 0.8).

Additionally, ESPN’s Kia NBA Countdown is posting gains of 33 per cent in ratings (0.8 vs. 0.6), 24 per cent in viewership (960,000 vs. 775,000), and 22 per cent in household impressions (784,000 vs. 641,000).