NBA Christmas games got the highest ratings ever since ESPN and ABC took over broadcasts

Chris Cwik

Santa was good to the NBA this Christmas. The big man gifted the league with the highest ratings ever on Christmas Day, according to ESPN.

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Plenty of people tuned in to see the Los Angeles Lakers take down the Golden State Warriors. The game registered a 6.5 metered market rating between ESPN and ABC. That was a 97 percent increase compared to last year’s numbers.

That made it the fourth-highest rated Christmas NBA game ever, and the highest-rated primetime NBA game that has aired on Christmas since ESPN and ABC took over broadcasting rights in 2002.

Almost every other game saw a ratings boost compared to last year. The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers drew 27 percent more viewers than the game in that slot last season. The Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz game picked up 36 percent more viewers than the late game in 2017.

Given the major increase in viewers, it appears ESPN and ABC may have figured out the key to getting people to watch the NBA on Christmas Day. Just make sure LeBron James plays the Warriors and everything will be fine.

<a href="" data-ylk="slk:LeBron James;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link">LeBron James</a> vs. the Warriors did big numbers. (AP Photo)
LeBron James vs. the Warriors did big numbers. (AP Photo)

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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