If there were any concerns about how the NBA’s ratings would look while the NFL season is still going on, the latest Christmas ratings should put them to rest.
According to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, ESPN averaged 3.495 million viewers during the noon slot for the Heat-Pelicans game. That’s a five percent increase from last year’s game during that slot.
Zion Williamson has quickly become must-see television in the NBA, so it’s not surprising to see viewers tuning in to watch the former No. 1 overall pick. He didn’t disappoint in his first Christmas game, as he finished with 32 points and 14 rebounds.
The second game for ESPN had significant viewership as well, as the late night slot for the Clippers-Nuggets showdown averaged 2.056 million viewers. Believe it or not, that’s a 21 percent increase from the previous season.
Paul George and Kawhi Leonard led the charge for the Clippers with a combined 44 points.
Good early numbers for the NBA. ESPN's Christmas Day coverage of the Heat-Pelicans averaged 3.495 million viewers at noon (up 5%). Its Clippers-Nuggets game averaged 2.056 million viewers (up 21%). Ratings for the ABC games aren't coming until tomorrow.
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) December 29, 2020
There were three additional games on the schedule for Christmas Day, but the ratings are not out yet because they were on ABC.
Kevin Durant and the Nets blew out Jayson Tatum and the Celtics, Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to a convincing win over Steph Curry and the Warriors, and LeBron James and the Lakers took down Luka Doncic and the Mavericks.
We’ll find out how if ABC also had great ratings later this week.