Competitive Edge - Sports & Entertainment Marketing News

Extra ABC games lift NBA Christmas viewership


The decision to simulcast all five NBA Christmas Day games on ABC paid off in the ratings.

Despite facing the first ever Christmas NFL tripleheader, the NBA’s five-game Christmas Day slate averaged 4.27 million viewers across ABC and ESPN, per Nielsen fast-nationals — up 5% from last year (4.08M), if still down 4% from two years ago when the Christmas Day slate took place in the opening week of the season (4.47M).

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Discussion Questions:

  1. What are ratings?
  2. How are ratings measured?
  3. Who is Nielsen?
  4. Why are ratings important to sports leagues like the NFL and NBA?
  5. Why are they essential to broadcasters like ABC and ESPN?
  6. Why are they important to advertisers?
  7. What is simulcast?
  8. Why do you think the decision was made to simulcast all five NBA Christmas Day games on ABC?
  9. How did that decision impact ratings?
  10. Given the fact that NBA games were competing with NFL games for viewers, are you surprised by NBA viewership figures on Christmas Day? Why or why not?
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.


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