It was a decisive night for Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves with the former being picked up by the latter as the first pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Coming just over a week after the record-breaking 2015 NBA Finals ended, it was also a decisive night for ESPN. The Disney-owned sports network had the most-watched NBA Draft ever and the highest-rated one since ESPN started showing the selection in 2003.
With 3.738 million watching, this year’s Draft rose 8% from last year, when the NBA faced World Cup soccer. The primetime long broadcast averaged a 2.4 household rating, which is a bop up of 4% over the 2014 Draft. Both viewership (5.13 million) and HH ratings (3.3) peaked in the 8-8:15 PM period. Among adults 18-49 Live Same Day ratings, the 2015 Draft was tied with the 2014 Draft with a 1.5. In metered market results, last night’s draft pulled in a 3.1, which is also a match with last year’s MM rating – the best ESPN has ever had. In local markets, Louisville was a solid No.#1 with a huge 8.5 MM result. Did we mention that Mr. Towns played for the University of Kentucky?