NBA Christmas Day: NBA Finals Rematch on ABC Up 22 Percent, Scores 6.7 Overnight Rating

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NBA Christmas Day: NBA Finals Rematch on ABC Up 22 Percent, Scores 6.7 Overnight Rating

  • Highest-Rated Christmas Day Telecast Since 2010; Third-Best Regular Season NBA Overnight Rating since 1999
  • Highest-Rated Christmas Day Prime-Time Doubleheader on ESPN
  • Five-Game Christmas Day Average Up Compared to 2014
  • Record 34 Million Total Minutes Streamed on WatchESPN

On Friday, the Golden State Warriors’ 89-83 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on ABC, a rematch of the most-watched NBA Finals in ABC history, was up 22 percent from last year by scoring a 6.7 overnight rating, according to Nielsen. (The 6.7 is up from a 5.5 for Cavaliers-Heat on Christmas Day 2014). Yesterday’s Warriors-Cavaliers telecast is the highest-rated NBA Christmas Day game since 2010 (Lakers-Heat, 7.1) and the third-best NBA regular season overnight rating since 1999.

The five-game Christmas Day slate across ABC and ESPN was up nine percent compared to 2014 (ABC, ESPN combined for three games last year).

NBA Christmas Day on ABC

The NBA doubleheader on ABC averaged a 5.5 overnight rating, which is up 15 percent compared to 2014 (4.8). The 5.5 doubleheader average is the highest-rated ABC doubleheader on Christmas Day since 2012.

 ABC game-by-game breakdown:

  • Chicago Bulls at Oklahoma City Thunder, 2:30 p.m.
    • 4.0 overnight rating, matches comparable game from 2014 (Thunder-Spurs);
    • 5.1 peak quarter hour rating from 4:45-5 p.m.;
    • 12.1 rating in Oklahoma City market, 8.4 in Chicago market;
    • 4.3 million total minutes streamed on WatchESPN.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors, 5 p.m.
    • 6.7 overnight rating, up 22 percent from 2014 (Cavaliers-Heat, 5.5);
    • Highest-rated Christmas Day NBA game since 2010;
    • Third-highest-rated NBA regular season game since 1999;
    • 7.9 peak quarter hour rating from 7:30-7:45 p.m.;
    • 21.2 rating in Cleveland market (regular season record), 16.0 in San Francisco market (regular season record);
    • 11 million total minutes streamed on WatchESPN.

NBA Christmas Day on ESPN

The NBA on ESPN prime-time doubleheader averaged a 2.3 overnight rating, matching 2013 as the highest-rated Christmas Day prime-time doubleheader ever on ESPN. Additionally, ESPN’s Christmas Day tripleheader, which also averaged a 2.3 overnight rating, matched 2013 as the highest-rated Christmas Day tripleheader ever on ESPN.

ESPN game-by-game breakdown:

  • New Orleans Pelicans at Miami Heat, 12 p.m.
    • 2.3 overnight rating, up 10 percent from 2014 (Knicks-Wizards, 2.1);
    • 2.9 peak quarter hour rating from 2:15-2:30 p.m.;
    • 5.3 rating in New Orleans market, 4.1 rating in Miami market;
    • 6.8 million total minutes streamed on WatchESPN.
  • San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets, 8 p.m.
    • 2.5 overnight rating;
    • 3.1 peak quarter hour rating from 10:15-10:30 p.m.;
    • 6.9 rating in San Antonio market, 3.8 in Houston market;
    • 6.8 million total minutes streamed on WatchESPN.
  • Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers, 10:30 p.m.
    • 2.2 overnight rating;
    • 2.9 peak quarter hour rating from 10:30-10:45 p.m.;
    • 4.2 rating in Los Angeles market;
    • 5.2 million total minutes streamed on WatchESPN.

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.

NBA Countdown on ABC generated a 1.6 overnight rating.

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

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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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