NBA’s Marquee Teams Attract Big Numbers For ABC

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Fueled by the presence of the Heat, Celtics and Lakers, ABC continued to earn strong numbers for NBA coverage last weekend.

ABC earned a 3.4 final rating and 5.163 million viewers for Miami’s loss to the Celtics Sunday afternoon. The game drew the highest rating for an early afternoon NBA game (start time prior to 3 PM ET) since Christmas Day 2005, and the highest for a non-Christmas early game since February 2002.

There was no telecast on the comparable date last year, due to NBA All-Star Weekend. Compared to Cavaliers/Magic on February 21 of last year (1.9, 2.862M), Sunday’s telecast was up 79% in ratings and 80% in viewership.

Boosted by the Heat/Celtics lead-in, ABC scored even better numbers earlier in the day.

In the second-half of the network’s doubleheader, the Lakers’ loss to the Magic earned a 3.5 and 5.631 million viewers. The game is tied as the third-highest rated non-Christmas regular season game on ABC since the network reacquired rights in ’02.

Compared to Celtics/Nuggets on February 21 of last year (2.3, 3.534M), Lakers/Magic was up 52% and 59%, respectively.

Overall, five of the 20 highest rated regular season games on ABC since ’02 have taken place this season alone.

Ratings/Viewership For NBA on ABC During 2010-11 Season










Date Time Game Net Rating Viewers (000)
Sat., 12/25/10 2:30 PM BOS 78, ORL 86 ABC
4.6
8,657
5 PM MIA 96, LAL 80 ABC
6.4
13,113
Sun., 1/30/11 1 PM MIA 108, OKC 103 ABC
2.5
3,788
3:30 PM BOS 109, LAL 96 ABC
4.3
7,003
Sun., 2/6/11 2:30 PM ORL 80, BOS 91 ABC
2.3
3,711
Sun., 2/13/11 1 PM MIA 82, BOS 85 ABC
3.4
5,163
3:30 PM LAL 75, ORL 89 ABC
3.5
5,631

(nielsen.com)

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