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ESPN ‘NBA Today Free Agency Special’ Averages 1.24 Million Viewers on Sunday

As free agency within the NBA continues, players around the league are signing new contracts and determining where they will play next season and beyond. Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics signed a five-year deal reportedly worth $315 million earlier in the week, the largest contract in NBA history, to remain with the team after winning an NBA championship. LeBron James, Paul George and Klay Thompson have all selected teams for next season as well, and there have been many additional transactions both by means of signings and trades. ESPN presented a special edition of NBA Today this past Sunday as free agency opened breaking down all of the action that attained record levels of viewership.

The NBA Today Free Agency Special averaged 1.24 million viewers on Sunday evening, the most-watched NBA free agency special in the history of ESPN, according to data from Nielsen Media Research. Viewership for the broadcast this year was up 207% over last year’s free agency show. Moreover, this year’s program peaked at 1.44 million viewers from the 5:30 to 5:45 p.m. EST quarter-hour.

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Malika Andrews hosted the free agent special edition of the NBA Today with analysts Kendrick Perkins and Richard Jefferson on the panel. Senior NBA writers Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe were also on the show, in addition to insiders Ramona Shelburne, Bobby Marks and Kendra Andrews. The program followed a WNBA matchup between the Indiana Fever and Phoenix Mercury that averaged 1.93 million viewers, the 10th WNBA game of the season to average at least 1 million viewers.

Prior to the beginning of the 2021-22 NBA season, ESPN launched the NBA Today program, which airs on weekdays from 3 to 4 p.m. EST. Sunday’s edition of the show was the largest audience to ever watch the studio program, keeping with the trend of successful studio programs at the network. ESPN recently announced that First Take attained a 23rd consecutive month of year-over-year growth and that Get Up had its best first six months of a year in show history.


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