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NBA Summer League 2023 Sets Viewership Record At ESPN

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NBA Summer League 2023 Sets Viewership Record At ESPN

The NBA season might be over but the league has continued to break viewership records in Las Vegas.

The 2023 Summer League set the mark for most viewers on the ESPN platform during the opening weekend.

The first weekend of the NBA Summer League averaged 456,000 viewers across 12 games, making it the most-watched opening weekend ever.

The Wembanyama effect was noticeable in the ratings, as his debut game averaged 1.386 million viewers. It was the second most-watched Summer League game ever, sitting just behind Zion Williamson’s debut for the Pelicans in 2019, which averaged 1.61 million viewers.

Wembanyama’s Effect on Opening Summer League Weekend

All eyes have been on Wembanyama since the moment that he stepped into the United States.

Basketball fans and even celebrities like Britney Spears have been eager to get a glimpse of the 7-foot-3 phenom.

Not only did Wembanyama’s debut drive viewership ratings, but the No.1 overall draft pick also had a huge effect on ticket prices.

Before his first game, fans began lining up outside the doors at 3 a.m. in anticipation of seeing Wembanyama.

For his debut match against the No.2 pick Brandon Miller, tickets were 149 percent more expensive than the average 2022 Spur regular season game.

For two seats in the lower bowl of Wembanyama’s summer league debut, San Antonio vs Charlotte tickets were listed at $850 each.

According to Sports Media Watch, Wembanyama’s first game averaged 1.386 million viewers despite his lackluster performance. His second game aired on Sunday Night on ESPN2, averaged 688,000 viewers, making it the third most-watched Summer League game of the week.

Wembanyama had a tough debut against the Hornets putting up nine points, eight rebounds, and five blocks. He bounced back against Portland with 27 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.

NBA Summer League Weekend Sets New Record

The opening weekend of the NBA Summer League was huge. It averaged 456,000 viewers across 12 games, which is the most ever on ESPN. Wembanyama was center court for two of the three most-viewed games.

The second-most watched game was the Portland Trailblazers vs Houston Rockets which averaged 734,000 viewers on ESPN. That game featured a clash between the top two guards in the NBA Draft Portland’s Scoot Henderson and Houston’s Amen Thompson.

After the record-setting viewership of the 2023 NBA Draft, the Wembanyama effect is expected to be huge during the upcoming regular season. While the Spurs weren’t a national TV fixture last year, the addition to Wembanyama changes everything.

Expect to see a lot more of the Spurs’ rookie moving forward.

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