Lonzo Ball and the Lakers Dominated Everyone Else's Summer League Ratings

Lonzo Ball and the Lakers Dominated Everyone Else's Summer League Ratings

NBA

Lonzo Ball and the Lakers Dominated Everyone Else's Summer League Ratings

ESPN struck gold with the Summer League this year, and got eyeballs during a part of the calendar where sports viewership is traditionally sparse. This is attributable to a number of factors — an exciting rookie class, a lot of interest in the sport from a frenetic month of free agency and trades and general gossip — but far and away the biggest differentiator was Lonzo Ball and the Lakers. Some stats:

  • The top five highest viewed games and six of the top seven were Lakers games. The two games Lonzo Ball played on main ESPN outdrew the Final game, which he missed (1.106 million and 879,000 viewers vs. 836,000).
  • Per Sports TV Ratings, the aforementioned Final game that Lonzo missed outdrew last year’s Final by over 100% — 836,000 vs. 366,000. Per the New York Times, ESPN ratings were up 99% year over year during the first weekend of summer league.
  • The lone non-Lakers game in the top seven, 76ers-Warriors, had the advantage of the Lakers game with over a million viewers as its lead-in.
  • The most-watched summer league game on ESPN2 was Lakers-Cavs, with 782,000 viewers. The most-watched game on ESPN2 that didn’t involve the Lakers was Kings-Mavs with 484,000 viewers.
  • The most-watched summer league game on ESPNU was Lakers-Nets with 351,000 viewers. The next highest viewed game on ESPNU had 126,000 viewers and there weren’t any others that had more than 100k.
  • On NBA TV, the highest viewed game was Celtics-76ers, which was the debut of Markelle Fultz and Jayson Tatum, with 212,000 viewers. The 2nd highest was the Lakers-Kings game that Lonzo missed, with 193k.

Here is the full viewership chart of the top 35 games that aired on the ESPN family of networks:

Game Date Tip Network Viewers
Lakers-Celtics 7/8 8:30 PM ESPN 1,106,000
Lakers-Clippers 7/7 8:30 PM ESPN 879,000
Lakers-Blazers 7/17 10:00 ESPN 836,000
Lakers-Cavs 7/13 10:30 PM ESPN2 782,000
Lakers-Mavs 7/16 8:03 ESPN2 763,000
76ers-Warriors 7/8 10:34 ESPN 736,000
Lakers-76ers 7/12 10:30 ESPN2 587,000
Kings-Mavs 7/13 8:24 ESPN2 484,000
Blazers-Celtics 7/9 8:30 ESPN2 380,000
Celtics-Mavs 7/15 8:13 ESPN2 365,000
Suns-Kings 7/7 11:12 ESPN2 352,000
Lakers-Nets 7/15 10:00 ESPNU 351,000
Kings-Bucks 7/12 8:35 ESPN2 348,000
Suns-Mavs 7/9 4:30 ESPN 344,000
Blazers-Grizzlies 7/16 6:01 ESPN2 315,000
76ers-Spurs 7/9 10:27 ESPN2 298,000
Heat-Grizzlies 7/15 6:00 ESPN2 283,000
Wolves-Nuggets 7/9 6:30 ESPN2 275,000
Heat-Clippers 7/13 6:25 ESPN2 256,000
Warriors-Wolves 7/11 8:59 ESPN2 255,000
76ers-Celtics 7/11 6:30 ESPN2 242,000
Blazers-Spurs 7/15 4:01 ESPN2 238,000
Warriors-Wolves 7/12 6:30 ESPN2 229,000
Bucks-Cavs 7/7 6:30 ESPN2 229,000
Clippers-Bucks 7/10 10:30 ESPN2 178,000
Nuggets-Nets 7/13 4:30 ESPN2 153,000
Blazers-Jazz 7/8 6:22 ESPNU 126,000
Nuggets-Rockets 7/12 4:30 ESPNU 80,000
Jazz-Bucks 7/14 5:58 ESPNU 80,000
Wizards-Grizzlies 7/8 4:00 ESPNU 76,000
Heat-Spurs 7/8 8:35 ESPNU 74,000
Hawks-Bulls 7/10 4:00 ESPNU 70,000
Nets-Pelicans 7/10 6:00 ESPNU 64,000
Nuggets-Raptos 7/10 8:00 ESPNU 59,000
Jazz-Grizzlies 7/11 4:30 ESPNU 52,000

 

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