The much hyped faceoff between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James delivered big ratings for ABC. The Christmas Day game between Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers drew a 6.4 fast national rating. This was a 45% increase vs. last year’s Christmas Day Kobe-LeBron matchup (Cleveland/L.A. Lakers – 4.4 rating), and the network’s highest rating for an NBA regular season game since Christmas Day in 2004. That 2004 game (7.3 rating) also featured Miami Heat and LA Lakers and was highlighted by another rivalry – between Kobe and teammate-turned enemy Shaquille O’Neal. In Miami, the Saturday game delivered a 15.5 metered market rating, ABC’s highest-rated NBA regular season game ever. In Los Angeles, the game earned a 15.0 rating, ABC’s highest-rated NBA regular season game locally since the Miami-LA game in 2004 (17.0 rating). Overall, the NBA Christmas Day games lineup on ABC and ESPN delivered its highest cumulative audience ever. Compared to last year’s slate of games, household ratings on ESPN were up 20% (1.8 vs. 1.5).
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