The hype surrounding the New York Knicks resulted in near-record numbers for ABC Sunday afternoon.
Sunday’s Mavericks/Knicks NBA regular season game earned a 4.8 overnight rating on ABC, the network’s third-highest overnight for a non-Christmas regular season game since acquiring rights to the league in 2002.
Only Lakers/Cavaliers in February 2009 (5.0) and Celtics/Lakers in January of last season (5.0) earned better numbers.
The 4.8 overnight is easily the highest ever for an early game on ABC (start time before 2 PM ET), again excluding Christmas Day games.
The game earned an impressive 10.3 rating in the New York market, translating into 760,944 households — more than double what NBA TV has averaged nationally for regular season games.
Later in the day, the Magic/Heat regular season game drew a similarly impressive 4.3 overnight, tied as the fifth-highest for a non-Christmas game on ABC.
Three of the ten highest non-Christmas regular season overnights on ABC have taken place this calendar year alone. Six of the ten have occurred over the past two seasons.
(Monday’s numbers from ESPN)