ABC earned strong numbers for a star-studded NBA doubleheader on Sunday.
Sunday’s Heat/Lakers NBA regular season game earned a 5.2 overnight rating on ABC — up 33% from last year (LAL/SA: 3.9), and up 86% from 2010 (LAL/ORL: 2.8).
The 5.2 overnight is the highest for a non-Christmas NBA regular season game on ABC since the network acquired rights to the league in 2002 (146 telecasts). The previous high was a 5.0 overnight for Celtics/Lakers in January 2011 and Lakers/Cavaliers in February 2009.
In addition, the 5.2 ranks as the second-highest overnight for a non-Christmas regular season NBA game on any network since the current television deal began in 2002. Only Heat/Celtics in October 2010 (5.6, TNT) drew a better overnight.
Earlier in the day, Knicks/Celtics drew a 4.3 overnight — up 19% from last year (CHI/MIA: 3.6). There was no comparable game in 2010.
The 4.3 overnight is tied as the sixth-highest for a non-Christmas regular season game on ABC.
Locally, Sunday’s games were the second-highest rated ever on ESPN/ABC in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (MIA/LAL: 13.9) and New York (NY/BOS: 9.6) markets.
(Sunday’s overnight ratings obtained from ESPN)