More People Watched League Of Legends Than The NBA Finals

LeBron James delivered one of the most compelling sporting performances of the year yesterday by leading Cleveland to a NBA championship with a triple-double against the Golden State Warriors. And people watched in the millions.

But more people watched League of Legends.

[credit provider=”shutterstock”]

The New York Times reported earlier today that the Cavaliers’ triumphant performance against the Warriors caught the attention of almost 31 million people.

It’s the highest viewership for an NBA finals on the American ABC network in the last 18 years, and it’s the highest for an NBA finals on ABC or ESPN in a decade. ESPN’s online service, WatchESPN, also broke records with 1.76 million unique viewers.

But while that might be an all-time high for the NBA, it’s still not as gargantuan as the crowd that tuned in for last year’s League of Legends world finals.

Around 36 million unique viewers tuned in for last year’s final between Koo Tigers and SK Telecom at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, Germany, according to figures from Riot.

The last ten minutes of the Cavaliers-Warriors game pulled 44.5 million, which is understandable given that the game was effectively decided by a free throw from James towards the end. There was also a four minute stretch at the business end of the final quarter where neither team scored, something ABC executives undoubtedly enjoyed. In comparison, the peak concurrent viewers for the SKT/Koo Tigers match was 14 million.

It helps highlight why more and more players and executives affiliated with sports are aligning themselves with esports. They can see the writing on the wall: the viewership numbers are huge, rivalling and even surpassing some of the largest sports in the world.

The Cheapest NBN 1000 Plans

Looking to bump up your internet connection and save a few bucks? Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


28 responses to “More People Watched League Of Legends Than The NBA Finals”