ESPN To Shatter Ratings Records On Wednesday
In less than 24 hours, ESPN will play host to two of the most significant NBA regular season games in history. Which game will you be watching?Advertisement
While ESPN will broadcast the Golden State Warriors vs Memphis Grizzlies game, with the reigning NBA champions on the brink of a record-setting 73rd victory, ESPN 2 will showcase Kobe Bryant’s final NBA game as the Lakers host the Jazz at Staples Center. According to league sources, ESPN is set to garner the greatest regular season ratings in history and possibly in all of pro basketball history.
Check Out: Full Schedule of the historic night
The previous NBA Finals between Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers received the highest ratings since the Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls era ended in 1998. There’s a strong possibility that the Warriors-Grizzlies and Lakers-Jazz games will shatter all those records, despite it not carrying any playoff implications.
The Warriors-Grizzlies game will be called by Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and sideline reporter Doris Burke. The Lakers-Jazz game will be called by Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown and reporter Lisa Salters. Both games will start at 9:30 p.m ET. Are you ready for the fireworks?
ESPN starting with NBA Countdown…
The historic Wednesday night will tip off with a special one-hour edition of “NBA Countdown” at 6 p.m. This special broadcast will include a feature called “Snap Shot” – a look back at Kobe Bryant’s through the eyes and camera lens of legendary Lakers photographer Andy Bernstein.
Bryant’s final game will be covered by journalists from 15 countries, including Brazil, Australia, South Korea, the Philippines, Turkey, China, Taiwan, France, Italy, Argentina, Chile, Germany, England, Japan and Mexico. This is unprecedented for a regular season game.
“For a regular-season game, that’s astronomical. And it could have been more, but we had obvious space limitations,” said NBA spokesman Tim Frank.
Just like MJ’s return in 1995…
The last time a regular season game garnered so much media attention was when Michael Jordan returned from retirement to face the Indiana Pacers in an away game on March 19, 1995.
“The game was at noon the next day and it was nationally televised. It was already sold out before it happened and we were already filled with media before this happened. Next thing you know, instead of a game without Michael, it became an event,” recalled Pacers media-relations director David Benner.
Which game will you be watching? Either way, ESPN is set to make television ratings history.