Based on fast national ratings, NBA Christmas Day games airing on ABC and ESPN delivered its highest cumulative audience ever. ABC’s doubleheader averaged a 5.5 Nielsen fast national rating and ESPN’s three telecasts averaged a 1.8 HH coverage rating, the highest averages for either network when airing multiple NBA games on Christmas Day. Compared to last year’s slate of five games, household ratings were up 45 percent on ABC (5.5 vs. 3.8) and 20 percent on ESPN (1.8 vs. 1.5).
ABC’s blockbuster matchup featuring the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers (5 p.m. ET) delivered a 6.4 fast national rating, an increase of 45 percent over last year’s game airing in the same broadcast window (Cleveland/L.A. Lakers – 4.4 rating), and the network’s highest rating for an NBA regular season game since Christmas Day in 2004 (Heat/Lakers – 7.3 rating). In Miami, the game delivered a 15.5 metered market rating, ABC’s highest-rated NBA regular season game ever in the market. In Los Angeles, the game earned a 15.0 rating, ABC’s highest-rated NBA regular season game locally since 2004 (Miami/L.A. – 17.0 rating).
ABC’s Boston at Orlando broadcast (2:30 p.m.) garnered a 4.6 fast national rating, an increase of 39 percent over last year’s matchup featuring the same teams (3.3 rating). In Boston, the game netted a 11.5 metered market rating, the top local market. The game posted a 8.0 rating in Orlando, ABC’s highest-rated NBA regular season game ever in the market.
NBA Christmas Day coverage began on ESPN with the New York Knicks hosting the Chicago Bulls at noon, with the telecast registering a 2.7 fast national rating, up 42 percent over the Miami/New York telecast last year (1.9 rating). Locally, the game drew a 4.2 metered market rating in Chicago and a 2.7 in New York.
ESPN’s evening doubleheader tipped off with the Oklahoma City Thunder hosting the Denver Nuggets (8 p.m.), which delivered a 1.4 fast national rating (up 27 percent over last year’s L.A. Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns telecast – 1.1 rating). In Oklahoma City, the game registered a 4.1 metered market rating; in Denver, it posted a 1.8 rating.
In the nightcap, the Portland Trail Blazers visited the Golden State Warriors, with the telecast earning a 1.3 fast national rating (even with last year’s rating for Denver/Portland). Locally, the game scored a 3.0 metered market rating in Portland, the nation’s top market, and a 1.7 in San Francisco.