NEW YORK—The selection of 19-year-old basketball sensation Victor Wembanyama by the San Antonio Spurs was a must-see on Thursday night television.
The first round of the NBA Draft averaged a record 4,928,000 viewers on ESPN and ABC according to Nielsen. This is the third year that the first round has taken place on both networks.
It was also the most-watched program on television for the night.
Viewership peaked at 6,085,000 in the first 15 minutes (8-8:15 p.m. ET) when the French phenom was drafted. The first round was also 33% higher than in 2003, when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony were selected. It was also the first year ESPN began airing the draft after it aired on Turner Sports from 1985 to 2002.
Overall, Project coverage for both rounds on ESPN averaged 3,743,000 viewers, a 23% increase from last year.
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