Record ratings for NBA on Christmas shows heightened interest in the league in year before lockout.
Posted by Matt Moore
The NBA posted the highest Christmas day ratings in history this year, up 45% on ABC and 20% on ESPN. It was the highest ratings for Christmas Day since 2004.
What's interesting is that the ratings for Heat-Lakers were higher than Lakers-Celtics two years ago. That these matchups created such high ratings says two things. One, the league is, as predicted, having unparalleled success in this era of the Lakers, Celtics, and Heat, and two, the Heat are a bigger draw than traditional fans of the two great superpowers may like to admit.
It'll be interesting to see how the ratings held throughout the games considering the Celtics-Magic game (which was also up 40% over a year ago) was pretty boring until the fourth quarter, and that the Heat thoroughly dominated the Lakers after Lamar Odom's opening alley-oop dunk. But on top, this is a huge win for the NBA as they further cement themselves as part of the Christmas Day tradition in this country, despite what Phil Jackson, LeBron James, and Stan Van Gundy have to say on the matter.
And all this good will? Will likely be wiped away in a blizzard of lockout and labor disputes this summer. Such potential, inevitably wasted.