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.