The two highest-profile teams in the NBA combined to attract strong numbers on ABC.
The Lakers/Heat NBA regular season game earned a 5.0 overnight rating on ABC Sunday afternoon, up 61% from Bulls/Celtics last year (3.1), and up 22% from Lakers/Magic on the comparable date of the 2010-11 season (4.1).
The 5.0 overnight is tied as the second-highest for a non-Christmas regular season NBA game on ABC since the network resumed airing games in the 2002-03 season. The network’s top overnight was a 5.2 for Heat/Lakers in March of last year.
Six of the network’s nine largest non-Christmas overnights have taken place over the past two seasons alone.
Earlier in the day, ABC’s Clippers/Knicks game earned a 2.9 overnight — down 26% from Heat/Celtics on the comparable date in 2011. There was no comparable window last year.
In the final game of the day, ESPN’s Spurs/Nets nightcap scored a 1.1.
Keep in mind the Boston and Providence television markets were not factored into Sunday’s numbers.
(Sunday’s overnights from ESPN)