Heat/Lakers Solid on TNT, But Not Spectacular

1

The rivalry between LeBron James and Kobe Bryant was not as large a television draw as usual Thursday night.

Thursday’s Heat/Lakers NBA regular season game drew 3.6 million viewers on TNT, down 14% from the same matchup on the comparable date last year (4.4M). Last year’s game aired at 8 PM ET; Thursday’s game aired at 10:30 PM.

The game, which was close in the final minutes, ranks as the least-viewed game between the Heat and Lakers since LeBron James and Chris Bosh signed with the team in 2010, and the least-viewed game between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James since the 2007-08 season.

With that said, the start time was also the latest for any Heat/Lakers game since James and Bosh joined the team. Viewership for Thursday’s game increased 81% over Mavericks/Jazz in the same timeslot last year (2.0M) and 82% over Heat/Nuggets in the late window two years ago (2.0M).

In addition to the late start time, Heat/Lakers was also impacted by competition from the Lance Armstrong interview on the Oprah Winfrey Network. The interview earned 3.2 million viewers in an initial 9 PM ET/PT airing and an additional 1.1 million for a 10:30 PM ET/PT re-air.

Earlier Thursday night, the Clippers/Timberwolves game drew 1.7 million viewers — down 61% from last year’s Lakers/Heat game and down 15% from Magic/Thunder in 2011 (2.0M).

Viewership For Kobe Bryant/LeBron James Matchups
Past five seasons

Season
Date
Time
Away
Home
Net
Viewers
2012-13
Thu., 1/17/13 10:30 PM Heat Lakers TNT
3.6M
2011-12
Sun., 3/4/12 3:30 PM Heat Lakers ABC
7.0M
Thu., 1/19/12 8:00 PM Lakers Heat TNT
4.4M
2010-11
Thu., 3/10/11 7:00 PM Lakers Heat TNT
4.8M
Sun., 12/25/10 5:00 PM Heat Lakers ABC
13.1M
2009-10
Thu., 1/21/10 8:00 PM Lakers Cavs TNT
3.9M
Sat., 12/25/09 5:00 PM Cavs Lakers ABC
8.3M
2008-09
Sun., 2/8/09 3:30 PM Lakers Cavs ABC
6.1M
Mon., 1/19/09 10:30 PM Cavs Lakers TNT
3.7M

(Thursday’s numbers from TV By the Numbers)

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

    This was also the best one of any previous “LeBron vs Kobe” battles.