Duke’s ratings outdraw NBA’s on ESPN/ABC

Duke freshmen R.J. Barrett, left, and Zion Williamson are at the top of every list of NBA draft prospects.

Call it the Zion Williamson effect.

According to the Duke sports information department (via RealGM), the Blue Devils’ 26 games on ESPN/ABC had higher ratings than the NBA’s 26 games this season.

Duke averaged 2.23 million viewers per broadcast, compared to just less than 2 million per broadcast for the NBA.

Williamson, of course, is projected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft at the end of June. With his combination of strength, size, skills and positive attitude, he was also one of the most celebrated players in college basketball in quite some time.

Williamson has yet to join Blue Devils teammates R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish and declare for the NBA draft.

The NBA’s ratings took a dip this season on both ESPN/ABC and TNT, with the telecasts on TNT being significantly lower.

It is believed those ratings picked back up during the first weekend of the playoffs.