TV Ratings: NBA Posts Strong Christmas Day Numbers

Lakers Warriors LeBron James Getty 2018 - H
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The NBA dunked on its Christmas night competition, posting strong ratings for ABC in primetime.

The Los Angeles Lakers' 127-101 victory over the Golden State Warriors delivered 6.39 million viewers and a 2.1 rating for ABC, pending updates for the live broadcast. That's a 17 percent improvement from the preliminary 5.46 million and 1.8 Christmas night in 2017. (The 2017 game adjusted down to just under 5 million viewers in the final ratings.)

It's the second straight year of growth for the primetime ABC broadcast, which was the fourth in a slate of five games on the broadcast network and its cable sibling, ESPN. 

Collectively, the five games delivered an 18.7 household rating in metered markets, also up 17 percent from last year (16.0). Aside from the shortened 2011 season, which began on Dec. 25, it's the best performance for an NBA Christmas slate since ABC and ESPN started airing the league's games in 2002.

The NBA game was, not surprisingly, the only original programming on the broadcast nets Tuesday night. The next-best performance of the night belonged to a Black-ish repeat (1.0 in adults 18-49, pending updates) following the NBA game. NBC's showing of the Jim Carrey version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas drew a 0.9 in the demo, down from 1.3 a year ago.

ABC averaged a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49 in primetime, more than double the 0.8 for second-place NBC. CBS drew a 0.4 with a night of repeats; Fox and The CW also aired reruns and came in at 0.2.