Breaking Records: NBA Draft Smashes Ratings on ABC and ESPN Featuring Wembanyama

**San Antonio Spurs Select 19-Year-Old Basketball Sensation Victor Wembanyama in NBA Draft**

The San Antonio Spurs made a captivating move in the NBA draft when they selected 19-year-old basketball prodigy Victor Wembanyama. The selection immediately drew attention from millions of viewers, making the first round of the draft a record-breaking event in terms of viewership. The draft was aired on ESPN and ABC, marking the third consecutive year that both networks jointly broadcasted the first round. During the first 15 minutes of the draft, the audience surged to a peak of 6,085,000 viewers, capturing the excitement surrounding Wembanyama’s selection. This figure represents a 33% increase compared to the draft held in 2003, which featured the selections of legendary players LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony. Furthermore, this spike in viewership signifies the growing popularity of the NBA draft over the years, particularly since ESPN took over the broadcasting rights from Turner Sports in 2003. The draft garnered an average of 4,928,000 viewers during the first round, making it the most-watched program across television on that particular night. Moreover, the overall draft coverage, including both rounds, attracted an average of 3,743,000 viewers on ESPN, which demonstrates a significant 23% increase compared to the previous year’s numbers.

**Record-Breaking Viewership for First Round of NBA Draft**

The NBA draft drew an unprecedented number of viewers for its first round. According to Nielsen, the draft achieved an average of 4,928,000 viewers on ESPN and ABC, setting a new record. This marks the third consecutive year that the first round has been jointly broadcasted on both networks. The exceptional viewership figures further solidify the NBA draft as a major television event. Additionally, the draft gained the highest viewership ratings of any program on television throughout the night. The tremendous interest in the event was evident from the peak viewership of 6,085,000 during the first 15 minutes (8-8:15 p.m. ET) of the draft, when Victor Wembanyama, a rising star in basketball, was selected. Comparing this to the 2003 draft, which featured the selections of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony, the current draft saw a remarkable 33% increase in viewership during the first round. This surge in viewership can be attributed to ESPN’s coverage of the draft, which began in 2003 after Turner Sports carried it from 1985 through 2002.

**San Antonio Spurs’ Pick Garners Massive Interest**

Victor Wembanyama’s selection by the San Antonio Spurs added to the excitement surrounding the NBA draft. At just 19 years old, Wembanyama is considered a remarkable talent in the realm of basketball. His selection by the Spurs generated considerable anticipation and curiosity among viewers. This interest was reflected in the record-breaking viewership numbers. The surge in viewership during the first 15 minutes of the draft when Wembanyama was drafted reached its peak at 6,085,000, indicating the widespread excitement and anticipation surrounding his future in the NBA. The San Antonio Spurs’ decision to choose Wembanyama was undoubtedly a considerable strategic move in terms of attracting viewers and generating buzz.

**Increasing Popularity of the NBA Draft**

The NBA draft has witnessed a steady increase in popularity over recent years. The record-breaking viewership figures for the first round showcase the growth and appeal of the event. With an average of 4,928,000 viewers, the draft saw a significant boost in viewership, surpassing previous years. This demonstrates the rising interest and engagement of fans in NBA draft picks. Furthermore, the overall draft coverage, encompassing both rounds, garnered an average of 3,743,000 viewers on ESPN, indicating a substantial 23% increase compared to the previous year. Such a surge in viewership emphasizes the NBA draft as an event that captivates audiences worldwide.


The San Antonio Spurs’ selection of Victor Wembanyama in the NBA draft ignited a surge of interest and enthusiasm among viewers. The draft’s record-breaking viewership numbers represent the growing popularity and appeal of the event. Consequently, the NBA draft has solidified its position as a captivating affair that draws millions of viewers each year. With its ability to generate excitement, engage fans, and showcase promising talents like Wembanyama, the NBA draft continues to captivate audiences worldwide.

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