NBA's Christmas package produces strong overnight TV ratings

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchangeDecember 26, 2012


Television ratings for the NBA's five Christmas Day games were down slightly from last year when the league returned from a lockout but up from two years ago.
Based on overnight numbers from Nielsen, the Oklahoma City-Miami game received the highest rating with a 6.0 share nationally, which also was the fourth highest in history for a regular-season game on ABC. That, however, was down from the Chicago Bulls-Los Angeles Lakers game from last year and the Lakers-Heat game in 2010.
Additionally, the Heat-Thunder game broke records in Oklahoma City and Miami as the most watched regular-season game ever on ABC.
The New York Knicks-Lakers game followed with a 5.9, the best rating on Christmas Day for ABC in the early window of a doubleheader. In the same time slot, the Heat-Dallas Mavericks matchup received a 5.6 last year.
The opening game of the extravaganza, which paired Boston against Brooklyn, drew a 2.7 rating, Houston and the Bulls received a 1.7, up 21 percent from a game two years ago in the same time slot, and the Los Angeles Clippers' late game against Denver capped the day with a 2.0 rating, up 54 percent from Portland-Golden State two years ago.
Add to that the NBA's highest-rated tripleheader ever on ESPN, with a 2.1 average, was up 17 percent from a 1.8 in 2010 and it was an impressive day for viewership.