via ESPN press release:
NBA Audience Growth Across ESPN Platforms
Most-Viewed NBA Season on ABC in Six Years; Most-Viewed Ever on ESPN
ESPN's coverage of the 2008-09 NBA regular season demonstrated impressive audience growth across multimedia platforms, including a 16 percent increase in viewership on ABC (an average of 3,684,000 viewers for 18 broadcasts this season; 3,175,000 for 19 broadcasts last year). The 2008-09 regular season is the most-viewed on ABC in the previous six years. ABC's average of 2,688,000 households this season marked a 10 percent improvement when compared to 2,451,000 last year. The 2.3 average rating in 2008-09 was an increase of five percent over a 2.2 rating in 2007-08.
Additionally, the network enjoyed double-digit growth in all major demos:
- Up 12 percent among men 18-49;
- Up 11 percent among men 18-34;
- Up 11 percent among men 25-54;
- Up 17 percent among people 18-34;
- Up 17 percent among people 18-49;
- Up 15 percent among people 25-54.
ESPN averaged 1,680,000 viewers for 71 regular-season telecasts to post the network's most-viewed NBA season ever, an increase of 14 percent compared to 1,468,000 viewers for 70 telecasts in 2007-08. The corresponding average of 1,299,000 households were an improvement of eight percent over 1,206,000 last season. This year's 1.3 average rating was consistent with last season.
ESPN telecasts also delivered significant growth across all major demos:
- Up nine percent among men 25-54;
- Up eight percent among men 18-49;
- Up seven percent among men 18-34;
- Up 14 percent among people 25-54;
- Up 13 percent among people 18-49;
- Up 11 percent among people 18-34;
ESPN's digital media platforms also posted considerable audience totals:
- ESPN.com logged 1.3 billion total page views, more than 279 million total visits, and over 113 million views of NBA-related video;
- The ESPN mobile Web site generated over 737 million total page views and more than 108 million total visits;
- On ESPN360.com, the total hours of NBA games viewed grew 64 percent compared to 2007-08, and average time spent viewing the games this season was 31 minutes per stream