LeBron helps give ESPN its most-watched NBA pre-season game

The LeBron effect continues. The LA Lakers’ pre-season game against the Golden State Warriors in Las Vegas on Wednesday night drew nearly two million viewers, making it ESPN’s most-watched pre-season game ever.

It was also the most viewers for an NBA pre-season game on any network since 1994, which is as far back as the records go, and a 129 per cent rise from last pre-season’s comparable game between the Houston Rockets and the Memphis Grizzlies.

The strong figures indicate that the LeBron James-led Lakers are likely to gain huge ratings for ESPN and Turner this coming season.

Most recent

Uefa will go to market later this year with the rights to the Champions League and Europa League under pressure from Europe’s top clubs to at least maintain the kind of growth it enjoyed in the current cycle. But there are reasons why that will be a massive challenge.

Internet giant Amazon will pay more than public-service broadcaster France Télévisions for a substantially smaller package of rights to the French Open’s 2021-23 cycle.

Chinese social media giant Tencent saw off competition from rival streaming player Youku Tudou to retain the NBA’s digital rights in the country for the 2020-25 cycle at a record-breaking fee, underscoring the strong growth in China’s streaming market in recent years.

The German Bundesliga’s international sales and marketing arm, Bundesliga International, is set for a busy 12 months of media-rights sales as the league approaches the conclusion of deals across the Americas, Asia, Middle East and North Africa.