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Highest-Rated NBA Christmas Day of ESPN & ABC Era Based on Combined Overnight Ratings from Nielsen (Excluding Shortened Season in 2011)


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  • Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers Broadcast Generates 6.5 Metered Market Rating and Matches Fourth Highest Rated Christmas Game Ever on ESPN and ABC
  • ABC’s NBA Christmas Tripleheader Up 17 Percent from Last Year
  • Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers Thriller Up 27 Percent from 2017
  • ESPN’s Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz Telecast Draws Highest-Rated Christmas Game in Late Window Since 2015

2018 is the highest-rated NBA Christmas Day of the ESPN and ABC era (since 2002), based on combined overnight ratings from Nielsen (excluding the shortened season that began on Christmas in 2011). ESPN and ABC’s coverage of the five-game slate generated an 18.7 combined metered market rating, up from a 16.0 rating last year.

The highly anticipated matchup between the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers matched the fourth highest rated NBA Christmas Day game ever on ESPN and ABC. The Lakers 127-101 victory over the Warriors delivered a 6.5 metered market rating combined on ESPN and ABC. It is also the highest-rated NBA Christmas prime-time game ever on ESPN and ABC. It was up 97 percent from last year’s comparable game.

Overall, ABC’s tripleheader averaged a 4.9 metered market rating, up 17 percent from 2017.  The 5:30 p.m. ET broadcast between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers generated a 4.7 metered market rating, up 27 percent from Celtics vs. Wizards last year. The 3 p.m. Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder game delivered a 3.8 rating.

ESPN’s 10:30 p.m. telecast of the Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz game drew a 1.5 metered market rating, up 36 percent from last year’s Lakers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves telecast. It is the highest-rated Christmas game in the late window since 2015, across networks. The Milwaukee Bucks victory over the New York Knicks at noon generated a 2.2 rating.


ESPN NBA contacts:

Ben Cafardo at 860-766-3496 or [email protected]. On Twitter: @Ben_ESPN;

Shakeemah Simmons-Winter at 860-766-1845 or

[email protected]. On Twitter: @ShakeemahESPN.