SBD/Issue 72/Sports Media

Christmas Day Rating Up For Celts-Magic, Down For Cavs-Lakers

ABC earned a 3.8 overnight rating for its Christmas Day Celtics-Magic telecast, up from the comparable Spurs-Suns on Christmas Day last year. In the late slot on ABC, Cavaliers-Lakers was down 17% from the comparable Celtics-Lakers matchup last year. On ESPN, the 12:00pm ET Heat-Knicks matchup was up 33% from Hornets-Magic in the same time slot last year. ESPN aired only one Christmas Day game in '08 (THE DAILY).

CHRISTMAS DAY NBA OVERNIGHT RATINGS ON ABC
GAME
RATING
'08 GAME
RATING
% +/-
Celtics-Magic
3.8
Spurs-Suns
3.6
5.6%
Cavaliers-Lakers
5.0
Celtics-Lakers
6.0
-16.7%
CHRISTMAS DAY NBA METERED-MARKET RATINGS ON ESPN
Heat-Knicks
2.0
Hornets-Magic
1.5
33.3%
Clippers-Suns
1.1
n/a
n/a
n/a
Nuggets-Trail Blazers
1.4
n/a
n/a
n/a

CHRISTMAS CHEER? Magic coach Stan Van Gundy prior to his team's game against the Celtics Friday said, "If I had my way, we'd take a five-day break at Christmas. I think we get a little carried away with ourselves in sports thinking we're so much more important than everything else. But that's the way it is: there's nothing more important than the NBA, and it has to be the focal point of your Christmas Day. I guess that's the way it is." Van Gundy added, " I know this: I won't watch one second of any of the other four games today. I have no interest whatsoever. I'm a big basketball guy, but this is a day to spend time with your family. ... I actually feel sorry for people that have nothing better to do on Christmas Day than watch an NBA game." Celtics coach Doc Rivers said of playing on Christmas Day, "It's gonna happen, so why fight it? I tend to try to look at it as a reward for good play and us doing our jobs well" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 12/25).

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