Injuries continued to take a toll on the “NBA on ABC,” exacerbated by strong competition on the other networks.
Sunday’s Clippers/Thunder NBA regular season game earned a 2.2 overnight rating on ABC, down 19% from Lakers/Mavericks last year (2.7) and the lowest overnight for an NBA game on ABC since April 2011. All seven ABC telecasts that can be compared to last year have declined by double-digits.
Later in the day, Bulls/Heat drew a 2.9 overnight rating. There was no comparable game either last year or in 2011.
The two games were the fourth and fifth of the season on ABC to earn less than a 3.0 overnight, compared to just one such game at the comparable point last season. Keep in mind the games aired opposite coverage of the Daytona 500 rain delay on FOX (4.0) and the Olympics on NBC (4.4).
The primary reason for ABC’s recent downturn has been injuries and mediocre play among the league’s highest-profile teams. So far this season, several stars have missed ABC games due to injury — Carmelo Anthony (12/25), Kobe Bryant (12/25, 1/26 and 2/9), Derrick Rose (2/9, 2/23), and LeBron James (2/23). Meanwhile, the Knicks and Lakers, each of whom have made three appearances each this season, are well under .500.
Overnight Ratings For the NBA on ABC This Season
(Sun. overnights from ESPN)