Another league heading towards a lockout after ratings highs. This is different than the NFL though since some franchises really are struggling financially.
via press release:
ESPN’s telecast Thursday night of the 2011 NBA Draft Presented by Kia Motors was the most-viewed NBA Draft in 15 years, according the Nielsen, averaging 3,202,000 viewers (P2+). The audience is based on a 2.4 rating, and is the most since ESPN began televising the Draft in 2003 and overall since 1996.
The audience for the nearly five-hour telecast (7:30 p.m.-12:15 a.m. ET), was up 15 percent over last year’s 2,789,000 viewers (based on a 2.2 rating).
The Draft capped off a 2010-11 campaign which included the second most-viewed NBA Finals since 2004 on ABC and the highest-rated and most-viewed NBA Finals Game 6 ever on the network; ESPN’s most-viewed NBA postseason ever; the highest-rated and most-viewed regular season on ESPN and ABC; and the largest audiences ever for the NBA on Christmas Day.