ESPN's much maligned special The Decision, in which LeBron James eventually confirmed that he
would be leaving Cleveland to play for Miami, was a huge hit in the ratings.
The hour-long program drew a 7.3 overnight household rating,
making it the highest rated program of the night on television and the highest
rated show on ESPN this year (including NBA playoff games) other than NFL
games. Viewership peaked at a 9.6 rating from 9:15 p.m. ET to 9:30 p.m. ET,
when the decision was finally revealed.
The rating translates into more than 10 million viewers.
The special was put together by James' management team,
which solicited sponsors and donated the proceeds to charity. Time for the
program was donated by ESPN.
Viewership was especially high in Cleveland, where a 26
rating was recorded. James played in Cleveland for his entire pro career and
grew up in nearby Akron. In Columbus, Ohio, the program drew a 14.2 rating and
it had a 12.8 in Miami.
Online, The Decision
attracted more than 300,000 unique users to ESPN3.com.