Cavs-Heat Viewership up 19% vs. last year (Updated)


Lebron returned to Miami on Christmas and the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. the Miami Heat posted a 5.5 overnight household rating on ABC, up 12% from 2013.  The earlier Oklahoma City Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs delivered a 4.0 rating, up 8% from the comparable game last year.   In total the ABC double-header scored a 4.8 overnight rating.

The Washington Wizards vs. the New York Knicks on ESPN averaged a 2.1 overnight rating. On the whole, the ABC/ESPN triple-header combined for a 4.0 overnight, up 8% from last year.

Update w/viewership totals: 9.3 million for Cavs/Heat, 5.99 million for Thunder/Spurs and 3.05 million for Wizards/Knicks.

via ESPN press release:

NBA on ABC: Cavaliers-Heat Christmas Showdown Up 12 Percent with Strong 5.5 Overnight Rating

  • Thunder-Spurs Delivers Ratings Increase; ABC NBA Doubleheader Up Double-Digits
  • ABC’s & ESPN’s Tripleheader Rating Up From 2013
  • ESPN Experiences Most-watched NBA Christmas Day Ever On WatchESPN 

ABC’s blockbuster NBA Christmas Day doubleheader delivered strong overnight ratings across the board on Thursday, Dec. 25, leading to a 12 percent ratings increase versus last year. In ABC’s late-afternoon window, the Miami Heat’s 101-91 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers generated a 5.5 overnight rating, up 12 percent from last year, according to Nielsen. Cavaliers-Heat also posted a massive 17.2 rating in Miami, making it the highest-rated NBA regular-season game ever in the market.

In the early ABC window, the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the San Antonio Spurs, 114-106, in a rematch of the 2014 Western Conference Finals. The broadcast delivered a 4.0 overnight rating, up eight percent from 2013. In total, ABC’s blockbuster NBA Christmas Day doubleheader delivered a 4.8 overnight rating.

ABC’s & ESPN’s Tripleheader Rating Up From 2013

ABC’s and ESPN’s Christmas Day tripleheader combined to average a 4.0 overnight rating, which is up eight percent from the comparable three windows in 2013. ESPN’s telecast of the Washington Wizards’ 102-91 victory over the New York Knicks delivered a 2.1 overnight rating, led by a 3.6 rating in Washington D.C. – the second-highest rated Wizards regular-season game on ESPN ever in the market.

ESPN Experiences Most-watched NBA Christmas Day Ever on WatchESPN

ESPN’s three-game Christmas Day slate delivered a combined 10.4 million minutes consumed on WatchESPN, making it the most-watched Christmas Day ever on the platform and up +71% from a year ago.  The Heat-Cavaliers game became the most-watched NBA game ever on Christmas Day across digital platforms with 4.5 million minutes consumed. Additionally, the Wizards-Knicks matchup became the second-most watched NBA game on Christmas with 3.3 million minutes consumed.

Second release:

NBA on ABC: Viewership Up 19 Percent for Cavaliers-Heat on Christmas Day

  • Audience for Blockbuster ABC Christmas Day Doubleheader Up 16 Percent
  • All Three Christmas Day Games on ABC & ESPN Up Double-Digits

On Thursday, Dec. 25, ABC was the exclusive broadcast home to a blockbuster NBA Christmas Day doubleheader, which delivered double-digit viewership growth, according to Nielsen. The doubleheader – Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs – averaged 7,686,000 viewers (P2+) and a 4.1 U.S. household rating, up 16 percent and 14 percent, respectively, from 2013.

The audience growth was highlighted by the Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat marquee matchup, which drew more than nine million viewers (P2+) and a 19 percent viewership increase for LeBron James’ return to Miami. Here are details for both ABC Christmas Day games, plus ESPN’s Washington Wizards at New York Knicks telecast, which was also up double-digits:

Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat on ABC

  • An average audience of 9,299,000 viewers (P2+) tuned-in to watch the Miami Heat defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in LeBron James’ return to Miami. The audience was up 19 percent versus last year.
  • The broadcast delivered a 4.7 U.S. household rating, up 12 percent versus last year.

Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs on ABC

  • Nearly six million viewers (5,994,000) watched the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the San Antonio Spurs on Christmas Day. The audience was up 10 percent compared to the comparable game in 2013.
  • The Thunder-Spurs broadcast generated a 3.3 U.S. household rating, also up 10 percent from last year.

Washington Wizards at the New York Knicks on ESPN

  • More than three million viewers (3,046,000) tuned-in to ESPN to watch the Washington Wizards defeat the New York Knicks to tip off the Christmas Day tripleheader. The viewership was up nine percent compared to last year.
  • The Wizards-Knicks telecast delivered a 1.8 U.S rating, up 13 percent versus the comparable game in 2013.




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