NBA ratings are up nearly 50% on ABC, with Sunday’s Lakers/Thunder game just the latest to have a double-digit increase.
Through eight telecasts, ABC is averaging a 3.7 rating and 6.370 million viewers for NBA coverage, up 48% in ratings and 57% in viewership from last year (2.5, 4.066M).
This marks the highest average for the NBA on ABC through February since the network reacquired rights to the league in 2002.
For some perspective, ABC’s 3.7 average is 23% higher than the 3.0 NBC averaged through the comparable point of the 2001-02 season, its last covering the league.
ABC’s most recent NBA telecast, the Lakers’ Sunday afternoon win over the Thunder, earned a 2.4 final rating and 3.683 million viewers — up 20% in ratings and 19% in viewership from last year (DEN/LAL: 2.0, 3.102M), but down 23% and 22%, respectively, from 2009 (LAL/PHX: 3.1, 4.745M).
Last year’s Nuggets/Lakers game and the 2009 Lakers/Suns game both aired in later timeslots.
Sunday’s game was not even the top NBA game of the day. That honor went to Knicks/Heat on ESPN, which drew a 2.7 and 4.213 million viewers opposite the Academy Awards.
Locally, Lakers/Thunder drew a 9.8 in the Oklahoma City market, the second-highest rating of the season for an NBA game in the market. Only Heat/Thunder in January, another ABC game, did better (11.1).
(ESPN, nielsen.com, newsok.com)