Lakers’ home opener vs. Rockets generates huge ratings for ESPN
The Los Angeles Lakers’ first game at home this season, where they faced the Houston Rockets, generated huge ratings for ESPN and contributed to its biggest NBA opening week rating.
As reported by Ben Cafardo of ESPN Media Zone, the Lakers-Rockets game telecast drew a 2.5 metered market rating. It makes it the highest-rated NBA regular season game since April 2016, when the Golden State Warriors won a historical 73rd win for the season.
In addition, the game on Saturday peaked with a 2.9 metered market rating. In Houston, it drew a 4.8 rating — the highest-rated NBA regular season game on ESPN in the market since 2013.
Various factors could have contributed to the boost in ratings. The Lakers, one of the biggest names in all of sports, did not only have their home debut but also welcomed LeBron James — the best basketball player in the world today. Fans all over the world wanted a glimpse of the newest version of the purple and gold, which some call Showtime 2.0.
Moreover, the Lakers went up against the Rockets who are considered the biggest threat to the reign of the Golden State Warriors. They boast reigning NBA MVP James Harden, as well as nine-time All-Star Chris Paul and 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony — both close friends of LeBron and members of the famed Banana Boat crew.
Unfortunately, a scuffle between the Rajon Rondo, Brandon Ingram, and Chris Paul might have boosted the ratings, too. The altercation was immediately stopped and the three players were eventually ejected from the game. However, it led to discussions amongst the media and fans on what exactly went on.
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