SBD/February 28, 2012/Media

NBA All-Star Game's 7.1 Million Viewers Down 22% From Telecast In '11

TNT averaged a 4.4 U.S. rating and 7.1 million viewers for Sunday night’s NBA All-Star Game, down 15% and 22%, respectively, from a 5.2 rating and 9.1 million viewers last year. The game peaked at a 4.8 rating (7.8 million viewers) from 10:00-10:30pm ET. The game aired up against ABC’s Academy Awards telecast, which earned a 22.6 rating and 39.3 million viewers from 8:30-11:24pm ET (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). The game drew 215,600 viewers in the Orlando market, where the game was held, compared to 468,100 viewers for the Academy Awards (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 2/27). NBC’s Jay Leno asked, “How many watched the Oscars last night? Did you watch? How many watched the NBA All-Star Game? See, that's what is great about America. You've got your choice of which spoiled millionaires you want to watch" ("The Tonight Show," NBC, 2/27).

NBA ALL-STAR GAME ON TNT
YEAR
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
LOCATION
'12
4.4
7,070
Orlando
'11
5.2
9,093
L.A.
'10
3.8
6,846
Dallas
'09
4.5
7,621
Phoenix
'08
3.8
6,334
New Orleans
'07
4.2
6,843
Las Vegas
'06
4.3
7,070
Houston
'05
4.9
8,082
Denver
'04
5.1
8,190
L.A.
'03
6.6
10,829
Atlanta
 

STILL DEBATING THE DUNK CONTEST: SportsNet N.Y.’s Chris Carlin asked, “Who are Budinger, Williams, George and Evans? It is not a law firm; it is your four contestants in the dunk contest." Carlin noted Heat F LeBron James "said if there was a $1 million purse, he would take part in it." Carlin: "You know what, LeBron? You’re right. They should do that. But give the million back to charity, get the stars back involved. Otherwise, why bother?” (“Loud Mouths,” SportsNet N.Y., 2/27). ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said, “All these sponsors are out there throwing money at All-Star weekend ... so divert some of that money. Put $1 million in the dunk contest which at one point … was the biggest thing of All-Star weekend.” Wilbon added, “You want the stars? Let somebody pony up the money and they’re going to come” (“PTI,” ESPN, 2/27). ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan said once the stars compete in the dunk contest, “then that opens the floodgates.” However, she noted Sprite currently sponsors the dunk contest and said, “You think they want to pay $1 million on top of that? I doubt it” ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 2/27).

EASE UP ON THE REQUIREMENTS: Clippers F Blake Griffin said that maybe all the NBA need to do to get star players to compete in the dunk contest is “simply ease up on all the league-mandated requirements currently attached to it.” Griffin, who won the event last year, said, “It’s an all-day deal Friday and its most of the day on Saturday and you’re there all night. You have to leave the hotel 3-4 hours before and you’re taking pictures and doing all this stuff and guys just want and need a break. It would be great if you could just go out there and (dunk) but that’s not the case. You don’t see all the behind the scenes stuff” (ESPNLA.com, 2/27).

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