Ratings Roundup: NBA Sees Increases Across the Board; NBC Scores with Hockey Day in America

Despite a delayed tip-off and compressed schedule, the NBA continues to flourish in the ratings game across the board. As of Feb. 13, the NBA’s national television ratings are up 21% on ESPN (2.15 in 23 telecasts), 24% on TNT (2.80 in 19 telecasts) and 18% on ABC (8.51 in three telecasts). And even the NBA’s own cable network is seeing a bounce, with ratings up 57% on NBA TV (0.36 for 44 games), which has seen an increase of more than 3.3 million households, the largest growth of any cable network since the start of the year.

This success continued last night, as a marquee matchup between the Knicks and Heat on TNT drew a massive 4.0 overnight rating. The double header, which also featured the Lakers vs. Thunder, delivered an overall 3.4 HH Rtg in the metered market overnights…

…The news is just as good at the local level, with a 19% bump for NBA games across all regional sports networks. Among those teams that have seen the greatest ratings gains: The Linsanity-driven Knicks (up 130 percent on MSG Network) the alley-oop-show Clippers (up 154% on Prime Ticket), the Ricky Rubio-fueled Timberwolves (up 141% on Fox Sports North), the Dwight Howard saga aka the Magic (up 75% on Fox Sports Florida).

The Bulls have also seen significant gains on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, posting record-setting television ratings this season, including the top three highest-rated regular season Bulls telecasts ever on the network. Bulls games are averaging a 5.92 household rating at the All-Star break (206,815 households), a 45% increase compared to last season’s 4.09 average at the All-Star break. The 5.92 average is the best ever for the network’s Bulls coverage…

…NBC Sports’ regional coverage during Sunday’s Hockey Day in America tied for the best NHL regular-season rating in eight years, excluding Winter Classics, and was the most-watched coverage for a non-Winter Classic in six years. The regional coverage (12:30-3:14 p.m. ET) –highlighted by the Red Wings NHL-record 23rd home win vs. the Sharks – generated a 1.3 rating/3 share, up 30% compared to last year’s regional coverage (1.0/3), and tied with Jan. 14, 2006 (three-game regional on NBC) as the best rating for NHL regular-season game coverage in eight years, excluding Winter Classics (Jan. 10, 2004; 1.4 rating; three-game regional on ABC). The regional coverage averaged 1.94 million viewers, the most since 1.96 million for regional coverage on NBC on Jan. 14, 2006. It was also up 26% compared to last year’s Hockey Day regional coverage (1.54 million).

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