NBA Christmas Day: NBA Finals Rematch Draws Nearly 11 Million Viewers, Up 17 Percent


NBA Christmas Day: NBA Finals Rematch Draws Nearly 11 Million Viewers, Up 17 Percent


  • Audience for ABC’s and ESPN’s Five-Game Christmas Day Slate Up from 2014; All Five Games Up from Last Time on ABC and ESPN
  • ABC Doubleheader Up Double Digits; ESPN’s Second-Most Watched Christmas Day Prime-Time Doubleheader Ever

On Christmas, the Golden State Warriors’ 89-83 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on ABC, a rematch of the most-watched NBA Finals in ABC history, drew nearly 11 million viewers (10,923,000, p2+), according to Fast Nationals from Nielsen. It was up 17 percent from the comparable game in 2014 (Cavaliers-Heat, 9,328,000 viewers, p2+). The Warriors-Cavaliers telecast was the most-watched NBA Christmas Day telecast since 2011.

The average audience for the Chicago Bulls’ victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on ABC was also up from last year, averaging nearly six million viewers, (5,962,000 p2+). This was up from 5,885,000 viewers (p2+) for the Spurs-Thunder telecast on ABC in 2014. The ABC Christmas Day doubleheader average was up 13 percent from 2014, averaging an audience of 8,629,000 viewers (p2+) compared to 7,648,000 viewers (p2+) last year.

This year’s five-game slate averaged 5,546,000 viewers (p2+) up six percent compared to last year’s five-game slate (5,217,000 viewers p2+),  which saw just three games on ABC and ESPN combined. Also, viewership for all five games on ABC and ESPN was up from 2013, the last time ABC and ESPN combined for a five-game Christmas Day slate

NBA Christmas Day delivered ESPN’s second-most watched prime-time doubleheader ever, and matched ESPN’s second most-watched tripleheader ever, averaging 3,324,000 viewers (p2+) and 3,413,000 viewers (p2+), respectively.

NBA Christmas Day on WatchESPN

  • Record 34 million total minutes streamed across five Christmas Day games;
  • All five Christmas Day games in 2015 were up year-over-year from 2014;
  • Golden State-Cleveland generated 11 million total minutes streamed, the most ever for a Christmas Day game and more than every Christmas game on ABC and ESPN combined in 2014.

For more information, including local market ratings, please go to and view today’s earlier press release.


Media contact: Ben Cafardo at 860-766-3496 or [email protected], (@Ben_ESPN).




Ben Cafardo

I lead communications strategy and execution for ESPN’s NBA, MLB, FIBA and Little League World Series properties. I’m also a proud consumer of all things ESPN.
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