SBD/February 19, 2013/Media

TNT Sees NBA All-Star Game Viewership Jump 13% Compared To Last Year's Telecast

TNT finished with a 4.6 U.S. rating and 8.0 million viewers for its telecast of the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, up 5% and 13%, respectively, from a 4.4 rating and 7.1 million viewers last year, when the event aired opposite the Academy Awards. The telecast peaked at a 5.0 rating from 9:30-9:45pm ET. TNT saw increases among adults 18-49 and 25-54, as well as among males 18-49 and 25-54. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale led all markets with a 12.6 local rating, followed by San Antonio (9.9) and Memphis (9.7). Host market Houston ranked sixth overall. Meanwhile, ESPN earned a 1.9 overnight rating for the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, marking the best overnight in the history of the event, which was first played in '04. The 1.9 overnight is up 6% from last year and up 12% from '11 (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

NBA ALL-STAR GAME AUDIENCE TREND ON TNT
YEAR
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
LOCATION
'13
4.6
8,000
Houston
'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.

TIME FOR A DO-OVER? ESPN's Israel Gutierrez said he was "selling" the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, as there was “build-up” to a dunk and then the players “missed a million in a row.” Gutierrez: “The build-up for the disappointment kind of let you down.” Denver Post columnist Woody Paige said he has “never seen so many missed dunks in my entire life” during a contest. Paige: “It was a bad, bad dunk contest.” ESPN's Bomani Jones said the dunk contest was not entertaining because “it’s so hard to impress us now because we’ve seen so many.” Jones: “We’re at a crossroads in the whole contest” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 2/18). SportsNet N.Y.’s Marc Malusis said the dunk contest “was absolutely boring.” SNY’s Robin Lundberg said, “Somebody should have jumped over a shark ... before dunking” ("The Wheelhouse," SNY, 2/18). NBC Sports Network’s Michelle Beadle asked, “Can we now agree that the dunk contest has officially died a very slow death? ... The fact that LeBron had, I think, three better dunks in the game than anything I saw in the dunk contest itself is very telling" ("The Crossover," NBC Sports Network, 2/18). ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said the dunks were "really good, they were creative.” But he added, "The thing is, we’ve seen all the dunks and it’s not famous dunkers, it’s not the best players." Wilbon: "Just take the contest away for five years, let there be some clamor for it and bring it back. ... They have re-styled the dunk (contest) about 10 times the last 20 years. Let it go away for awhile.” ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser said the dunk contest “should be put in a time capsule with the Pro Bowl and shipped out to sea on the Carnival Triumph when they refit it.” Kornheiser: “It takes players you’ve never heard of and gives them too much time in the sun” (“PTI,” ESPN, 2/18).
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