Eyeballs, eyeballs, eyeballs

Returns from the outer precincts have finally come in and the results are overwhelming:

More people watched NBA games on Christmas Day than ever before. A few morsels from the data:

  • The Heat-Lakers matchup led all games in viewers. From Nate Smeltz: "ABC's blockbuster matchup featuring the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers (5 p.m. ET) delivered a 6.4 fast national rating, an increase of 45 percent over last year's game airing in the same broadcast window (Cleveland/L.A. Lakers – 4.4 rating), and the network's highest rating for an NBA regular season game since Christmas Day in 2004 (Heat/Lakers – 7.3 rating)."

  • Interesting ... the game delivered a slightly higher market rating in Miami than it did in Los Angeles. Maybe Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant are correct -- the game meant more to Miami?

  • The Orlando market ate up the C's-Magic matchup, which was the highest-rated regular season game ever in the Orlando market. Do we attribute the healthy numbers to curiosity among local fans about their retooled roster? "ABC's Boston at Orlando broadcast (2:30 p.m.) garnered a 4.6 fast national rating, an increase of 39 percent over last year's matchup featuring the same teams (3.3 rating)."

  • The nightcap between Portland and Golden State was the only game on the docket that was essentially flat from last year, when the Nuggets and Trail Blazers squared off.