Competing with the Daytona 500 for the first time in ten years, the NBA on ABC hit a season-low in the overnights.
Sunday’s Lakers/Mavericks NBA regular season game earned a 2.7 overnight rating on ABC, down 7% from Lakers/Thunder on the comparable date in 2011 (2.9). There was no comparable game last year, as NBA All-Star Weekend took place one week later than usual.
The 2.7 overnight is the lowest of the season for the NBA on ABC, trailing the previous low of 2.9 for Clippers/Knicks on February 10. Despite the lower numbers, the game earned the best non-Daytona overnight of the weekend for any sporting event on broadcast.
Sunday marked the first time since 2003 that ABC aired NBA coverage opposite the Daytona 500. From 2004-12, the Daytona 500 and NBA All-Star Game took place on the same weekend each year. The 2003 games drew overnights of 3.1 (Sixers/Nets) and 3.7 (Spurs/Kings).
Daytona was not the only factor keeping Sunday’s numbers lower-than-usual. The Lakers and Mavericks both entered the game under .500, and the Mavericks in particular have been off the radar for most of the season.
Later Sunday, ESPN earned a 1.1 overnight for Grizzlies/Nets and a 1.3 for Bulls/Thunder. The two games aired opposite the Academy Awards.
(Sunday’s numbers from ESPN)