Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 26 No. 210
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

NBA Christmas Day Viewership Down 8% From ’18 Slate

NBA viewership on Christmas Day declined 8% compared to ’18 as several stars were missing from the high-profile matchups. The five-game slate across ABC and ESPN averaged 5.29 million viewers, down from 5.81 million last year, which was the best Christmas Day since ’11, when the season started on the holiday due to a lockout (6.3 million viewers). While down from '18, the NBA slate was up 4% compared to '17, which did not include an ESPN simulcast for the primetime window. Last year, the NBA had the benefit of LeBron James’ first Christmas game with the Lakers, as well as a Warriors squad that included Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant -- all of whom missed this year’s games. The NBA slate this year also had a Pelicans game without Zion Williamson and a Celtics-Raptors game that did not include measurement of the Toronto audience. That is significant because the game ended up being the most-watched NBA regular season game ever in Canada. While the five-game Christmas Day slate was lower in ’19, Clippers-Lakers alone on ABC (with ESPN simulcast) did draw 8.76 million viewers, marking the second-best Christmas primetime NBA game on record, behind only Lakers-Warriors in the same slot last year (10.21 million). None of the games from this year rank among the top 10 most-watched NBA Christmas Day games on record.

NBA CHRISTMAS DAY VIEWERSHIP
NET(S)
'19 GAME
VIEWERS (000)
'18 GAME
VIEWERS (000)
% +/-
ESPN
Celtics-Raptors
3,324
Bucks-Knicks
3,170
5%
ABC
Bucks-76ers
5,482
Thunder-Rockets
5,955
-8%
ABC
Rockets-Warriors
6,550
76ers-Celtics
7,347
-11%
ABC/ESPN
Clippers-Lakers
8,760
Lakers-Warriors
10,211
-14%
ESPN
Pelicans-Nuggets
1,705
Trail Blazers-Jazz
2,187
-22%
Download the
NB Christmas Day Viewership