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Swish! Viewership for ESPN and ABC’s NBA Christmas Games Up Five Percent From 2021

Philadelphia 76ers vs. New York Knicks Game Draws Highest Viewership in the Noon ET Window in 11 Years

  • Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics Game Delivers Largest Average NBA Audience of the Day with 6,033,000 Viewers, Up 16 Percent Vs. Last Year
  • Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets Broadcast is Most-Watched Christmas Late Game in Seven Years
  • NBA Christmas on ESPN and ABC Up in Key Demos from 2021

Viewership for ESPN and ABC’s NBA Christmas games was up five percent from 2021, according to Nielsen. The five-game holiday slate averaged 4,271,000 viewers, compared to 4,082,000 viewers from last year. All five games aired on both ESPN and ABC.

The Philadelphia 76ers victory over the New York Knicks averaged 4,036,000 viewers, up 38 percent from the noon ET window last season (Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks). It is the most-watched NBA Christmas game in the noon window in 11 years, since the 2011. Christmas opened the 2011-12 NBA season. The Sixers vs. Knicks game also aired on ESPN2 via the NBA in Stephen A’s World alternate presentation.

The Boston Celtics victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in a matchup of Eastern Conference favorites drew the largest average NBA audience of the day with 6,033,000 viewers. It peaked with 6,828,000 viewers from 7:30-7:45 p.m. Viewership was up 16 percent from last season’s 5 p.m. window when the Golden State Warriors squared off with the Phoenix Suns.

ESPN and ABC’s NBA Christmas coverage was bookended with multi-year viewership highs. The Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets game at 10:30 p.m. averaged 2,485,000 viewers and became the most-watched Christmas late game in seven years, since 2015.

The NBA on ESPN and ABC also generated three percent year over year viewership increases in key demos, including P18-49 and P25-54.

The 2:30 p.m. matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks averaged 4,333,000 viewers, while the 8 p.m. game between the Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies generated 4,700,000 viewers.

Viewership is based on Fast Nationals and Out-of-Home data from Nielsen. Final viewership will be available on Wednesday.

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