All-Star Weekend draws great ratings


The NBA has sent out a series of press releases on the overnight ratings for its All-Star Weekend events, which were very strong across the board.

The format change to the “Rising Stars Game” — which went to a “Team Shaq vs. Team Chuck” format this year, as opposed to the traditional rookies vs. sophomores format, was a huge success, as the game drew a record number of eyeballs:

TNT’s exclusive coverage of the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star 2012 in Orlando was the most-watched telecast in the event’s history, surpassing the 2004 game. Last night’s contest delivered 2,729,000 total viewers (+26% vs. 2,165,000 in 2004); 1.7 US HH Rtg (+6% vs. 1.6 in 2004) and 1,911,000 overall households (+13% vs. 1,689,000 in 2004). Prior to this year, the most-watched telecast was the 2004 game featuring future NBA All-Stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony. 

Despite the fact that the Dunk Contest featured very little star power, the All-Star Saturday night ratings were tied for the second-highest ratings in the history of the event. The ratings were the same as they were in 2009, when Nate Robinson won his 2nd dunk contest title by putting on a glowing green outfit and jumping over Dwight Howard:

TNT’s exclusive coverage of NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm at NBA All-Star 2012 in Orlando, FL delivered an overall4.4 US HH rating in metered market overnights. It was tied for the second-highest rated NBA All-Star Saturday Night all-time (2009).

Finally, the All-Star Game itself drew its 2nd-highest overnight rating since the 2005 game, despite the fact it aired on the same night as the Academy Awards:

During one of the busiest and most-watched nights on television, TNT’s exclusive coverage of the 2012 NBA All-Star Game in Orlando, FLdelivered an overall 5.4 US HH rating in metered market overnights. The metered market rating is the second highest-rated overnight since 2005 (5.9 metered market rating).

This is all good news: it’s another sign that the lockout didn’t prevent fans from coming back to basketball when the games and exhibitions actually started up again.

LeBron’s effect on ratings dramatic


The Sports Business Journal just released a report comparing this season’s local TV ratings for NBA teams to the ratings from last season, and one thing is clear: People like to watch LeBron James play basketball.

The Heat’s average rating is currently 5.4; that’s the third-highest average rating in the league (behind the Spurs and the Jazz, in case you were wondering), and represents a 118% ratings increase from the 09-10 season, the largest increase in the league. Meanwhile, the Cavs’ ratings have decreased by 53%, which is the largest decrease in the league. (The silver lining for Cleveland? The Cavaliers are still drawing a 4.07 average rating, which is the 7th-highest in the league.)

The Bulls, Clippers, and Timberwolves all also experienced significant ratings increases this year, although the Clippers still have the second-lowest average rating in the league. (The Nets, who draw an abysmal average rating of 0.29, are drawing the lowest ratings in the NBA.)

In terms of total households (ratings represent the percentage of households in a market watching a program, not the total number of viewers), the Lakers are the most-watched team in the league by far — an average of 278,000 households tune in to every Laker game. To provide some perspective, the Thunder, Nets, Kings, Grizzlies, Bucks, and Bobcats draw a combined average of 107,000 viewers a game.

Christmas Day games get huge ratings

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No matter how many people say that Christmas Day games are just another game and the Miami Heat are just another good team, everybody sure did tune in when the Heat and the Lakers met on Christmas Day. The Heat-Lakers game drew a fast national rating of 6.4, which is a 45% increase in ratings from last year’s Cavaliers-Lakers game and ABC’s highest rating for an NBA regular-season game since Shaq and Kobe met on Christmas Day 2004.

Overall, the five games that aired on ESPN and ABC over the course of Christmas day drew the highest average rating for either network when airing multiple NBA games. Some people love the Heat and a lot of people really don’t like them, but everybody has been watching them.