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NBA Draft on ABC, ESPN sets viewership record

Twin telecasts of the NBA Draft that aired on ABC and ESPN last week smashed viewership records for the most-watched pro-basketball draft across any network, according to Nielsen data.

Preliminary data released by ESPN on Friday showed the 2023 NBA Draft grabbed 4.93 million combined viewers on ABC and ESPN, up 24 percent on both networks.

The data released by Nielsen did not include streaming viewership figures, so the actual number of people tuning in on connected TVs and smart devices is likely higher. The ESPN telecast was simulcast on ESPN 3, on ESPN Plus and on Hulu.

Streaming-related viewership data was expected to be released around Monday afternoon.

The 2023 NBA Draft was Thursday’s most-watched program across all television in terms of overall viewership and key demographics, a spokesperson for ESPN said in a statement.

Insurance company State Farm was the presenting sponsor of the 2023 NBA Draft.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).