A slew of big market teams vying for the top pick in next month’s draft pushed Tuesday’s telecast of the NBA Draft Lottery to a record 3.6 million viewers.
ESPN’s coverage of the annual event – which saw the Minnesota Timberwolves land the coveted top pick – was up 6% from last year and the most-watched Draft Lottery that ESPN has ever aired. The 30-minute event also rose 4% to a 2.4 household rating.
Following the lottery, ESPN’s coverage of the opening game in the 2015 Western Conference Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets drew 6.8 million viewers, up 6% from last year’s Game 1, which aired on TNT. The Warriors’ nail-biting victory over the Rockets was up 41% from the last time ESPN aired the West finals.
TNT airs the Eastern Conference Finals beginning Wednesday night between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks.