LeBron James’ ‘Decision’ Delivers Huge Audience for ESPN

Jul 9, 2010  •  Post A Comment

ESPN announced that its telecast Thursday night of “The Decision,” in which NBA superstar LeBron James announced his decision to join the Miami Heat, generated a 7.3 overnight rating in households from 9-10:15 p.m. ET.

The 7.3 is the highest overnight rating for any non-NFL ESPN program this calendar year, according to the network. Additionally, the ESPN telecast was the highest-rated program of the night, for cable or broadcast, based on overnights.

The telecast peaked with a 9.6 rating from 9:15-9:30 p.m., when James officially made the announcement, the network reported. The top three local markets were Cleveland (26.0 metered market rating); Columbus (14.2) and Miami (12.8). Chicago was sixth with a 10.7 rating and New York ranked seventh with a 10.4 rating.

The numbers topped the audience for ESPN’s exclusive interview with Tiger Woods on March 21, 2010, which posted a 0.4 metered market rating for SportsCenter from 6-8 p.m. and peaked with a 0.8 rating from 7:45-8 p.m. The telecast also trumped ESPN’s exclusive interview with Alex Rodriguez on Feb. 9, 2009, which had a 0.9 metered market rating (6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter).

James’ decision attracted more than 300,000 unique viewers on ESPN3.com, one of the platform’s largest audiences ever for a non-World Cup event.


  1. I noticed that the decision wasn’t announced until after a :60 local cable commercial break.

  2. Lebron gives the number 23 a bad name.

  3. Have you looked at the 2010 nfl season schedule yet? It should be an fascinating season this year. Do you have your pick to win the superbowl yet?

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