Except For Knicks/Lakers, Overnight Ratings Drop For NBA Christmas Games


Knicks/Lakers was the only NBA game on Christmas Day to have an increase from last year.

The Knicks/Lakers NBA regular season game drew a 5.9 overnight rating on ABC Tuesday afternoon, up 5% from Heat/Mavericks last year (5.9), and up 11% from Celtics/Magic in 2010 (5.6).

The 5.9 overnight is the highest ever for the early Christmas Day NBA game on ABC.

Later in the day, Thunder/Heat earned a 6.0 — down 6% from Bulls/Lakers last year (6.4), and down 18% from Heat/Lakers in 2010 (7.3). Despite the decline, the 6.0 ranks as the fourth-highest regular season NBA overnight on ABC since the network reacquired the rights.

Over on ESPN, Celtics/Nets drew a 2.7 overnight, down 34% from Celtics/Knicks on TNT last year (4.1), but even with Bulls/Knicks on ESPN in 2010 (2.7). Keep in mind last year’s Celtics/Knicks game was the first of the abbreviated NBA season.

In primetime, ESPN scored a 1.7 for Rockets/Bulls — down 11% from Magic/Thunder last year (1.9), but up 21% from Nuggets/Thunder in 2010 (1.4).

The Nuggets/Clippers nightcap earned a 2.0, down 13% from Clippers/Warriors last year (2.3), but up 54% from Trail Blazers/Warriors in 2010 (1.3).

NBA Christmas Day Overnights
Past three seasons

Time (ET)
Away Home Net 2012 2011 2010
Noon Celtics Nets ESPN
3 PM Knicks Lakers ABC
5:30 PM Thunder Heat ABC
8 PM Rockets Bulls ESPN
10:30 PM Nuggets Clippers ESPN

(Tuesday’s numbers from ESPN Media Zone)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CGG7YG2ELYV6BFY26IFOP4FQLY kirk

    MLB just got how much money from FOX and none of their regular season games comes close to the 2 games on ABC.

  • nsbombers

    I for one don’t understand the appeal of the nba on christmas.It is a time for family gatherings.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrea-Cavalli/757338131 Andrea Cavalli

      I for one don’t understand the appeal of complaining over the nba playing on christmas day. I mean, it’s not like you have to spend the entire day unwrapping gifts. As far as the family thing, watching the games with relatives could be a nice excuse to spend time with them and at the same time watching the games.

      Besides, the NBA has been playing games on Christmas Day (even a full 10+ -game slate several times) since 1947 so it’s not like this whole playing on Christmas thing is something new. Probably those ones whining are the same geniuses who don’t mind the NFL playing games on Thanksgiving Day..hmmmmm.

      • nsbombers

        I love football on thanksgiving,especially high school football it is a tradition in my state where you play your rival school.Plus you see friends from high school.The players and coach hate playing on christmas.Doc Rivers and Van Gundy the former orlando openly criticized David Stern.And I have heard players voice the same opinion especially the teams that have to travel.Their kids don’t like it but the marquee teams have come to accept it

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XBLCM2J3OONS3DOCTJRMPHX3OQ Mike

    I love NBA games on Christmas what a stupid comment don’t watch if you want to be with your family!! Great win by my Clipper 14 in a row last night!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrea-Cavalli/757338131 Andrea Cavalli

    So just because Stan Van Gundy (he’s not even coaching right now!!), who’s famous for whining over EVERYTHING (he’s a grumpy guy, thats a well-known fact and a few years ago he even complained because his team wasn’t scheduled for the marquee Christmas game so there ya go) and a few others don’t like it, the NBA should stop playing on Christmas, which is something they have been doing since 1947 by the way? Something most fans love? A tv ratings bonanza for the league? Give me a break. And let’s stop blaming Stern over this, as if he was the one who came up with this idea. The league has been playing a full-slate of games on Christmas Day since 1947, which is about 35 years before Stern even became commissioner. And oh yeah, let’s not forget that the NBA doesn’t schedule ANY games on Christmas’ Eve. That’s worth pointing out.

    In all fairness, not all players hate to play on this day. Sure, some have been quoted saying they don’t like it, but many others in those past few days said they love to play on this day and they always used to watch those Christmas games well before entering the league. Many said it’s a huge honor for them to be chosen to play because it means their team is relevant.

    Just because the usual suspects like to complain about it every year doesn’t mean EVERYONE is against playing on Christmas. Too easy quoting Stan Van Gundy.
    So, lets see, the NFL playing on Thanksgiving is a good thing (or even the MLB on July 4th for that matter) but the NBA playing on Christmas, somehow, someway, is a bad thing? I don’t quite get it and never will. From what I can tell, though not religious holidays, Thanksgiving and July 4th are a time for family gatherings, too. What’s the difference? And let’s not play the religion card because not everyone is Christian in the U.S. or anywhere else.

    Do you guys know how many people work on Christmas Day? Policemen, firefighters, doctors, shopping malls employers and the list goes on. And do you know how much they make? FAR less money than those players and coaches, who get paid million of dollars. Are they complaining?

    This is really a no-issue and I’m annoyed at how some people keep bringing that up every single year. They usually are people who don’t watch the games anyway or lazy sports columnists who are desperate to find some controversy to talk about in order to increase those stupid “clicks” on their articles.

    Sorry for my tone but this whole thing has gotten a bit old.

    • JakeFrankie

      The rating’s show over the years Christmas Day has the NBA’s Best Regular season TV rating, Clearly people are watching. Complain or not, NBA Players and coaches know there job. They are highly paid, marketed players. It’s a NBA Tradition for the Best games to played on Christmas Day with the biggest players. They know what there getting into when they sign there contracts, From September Training Camp until there season is over (April-June) They have big responsibilties, people complaining big time people are idiots while others have much worse jobs that work on Holidays as you said.

      You can’t take everything people say seriously to each it’s own.