ABC’s NBA Ratings Up 48%, Trending Nearly 25% Above NBC’s Final Year in ’02

Posted by | March 4, 2011 at 4:38 AM

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).


  • JakeFrankie1

    Great News for the NBA this decade has for sure started well for the NBA, Since 2008 to honest Ratings have been getting higher and higher I’m sure the big markets dominating the NBA again has a huge part in this LA,NY,Miami,Chitown etc…
    If I’m not mistaken NBC use to do triple headers it was great for us basketball lovers in the early 2000′s. ABC I will admit is starting to do a better job on the NBA coverage as well.

    There’s 1 thing I don’t like about ABC is the commenators partnership of Breen-Van Gundy-Jackson I do think they become too comical for my liking. But Hubie Brown-Trico RULE.

    • James25

      I agree the NBA getting back to popularity in the markets that matter the most is key plus all of the buzz surrounding trades and free agents helps as well. The NBA is coming back stronger this decade.

      On the ABC coverage side their still not better than TNT but they are way better than they were when they started. This season in particular is way better on ABC.

      I wish we could see the triple-headers again but at least we get some NBA games at night over on ESPN.

      Brown-Tirico rule I think they should be #1 but I do like Gundy and Jackson’s work together but they need to tone down the comedy at times.

      • jakefrankie1

        Yes very true ABC is improving, I will always give them props for the epic game 7 coverage of Celtics-lakers. Gundy and Jackson are too comical, at times they are great. But for me it’s the ultimate disrespect when they start taking about other sports on the NBA coverage I still cannot believe the NBA or ABC hasn’t said anything or made them change that. I’m happy im not the only one not liking the comedy of Gundy and Jackson.
        Hubie Brown is by far the best commenator the NBA has up there with Marv, Hubie-Trico is the best partnership the NBA has.

        I think the NBA started 2000′s off well with Shaq-Kobe dominating with the 3peat, 2004 Finals was a High note. But 2005-2007 was a low peroid, game wise, games were much lower scoring. I said this to paulsen the other day Since the 2007-2008 season When the Boston Big 3 Debuted the NBA has been fantastic which is great to see. NBA is doing fantastic from what im hearing it’s not just ratings too.