Dec 25, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (center) drives to the basket as Houston Rockets forward Terrence Jones (left) and guard Jeremy Lin (right) defend during the second half at AT

NBA games on Christmas Day set records for ESPN

The NBA and ESPN have officially cemented themselves as the go to sport and network for couch potatoes looking for action on Christmas Day.

ESPN recently reported that an average of more than 2.9M viewers watched its 2013 NBA Christmas tripleheader, making it the network’s most-watched and highest-rated Christmas tripleheader ever. The record figures surpassed last year’s totals, the previous record holders, by 5 percent.

The most watched game for ESPN’s Christmas coverage was between the Houston Rockets and the San Antonio Spurs which aired at 8 p.m. ET. The game was seen by an ESPN Christmas prime-time record 3,395,000 viewers. The 12 p.m. Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets matchup generated an audience of 2,779,000 viewers and the Golden State Warriors’ victory over the  Los Angeles Clippers was viewed by 2,730,000 people.

NBA action also helped ESPN win the prime-time ratings war among men on Christmas Day for all networks, broadcast or cable. Overall, the 2013 evening telecasts set records for an ESPN prime-time Christmas doubleheader, averaging more than 3M viewers and a 1.9 U.S. household rating. This viewership represents a 30 percent increase from last year. The previous highs for an ESPN Christmas prime-time doubleheader came in 2011 with over 2.7M viewers.

Overall on the season, ESPN’s NBA viewership is up 4 percent. The network is averaging more than 1.9M viewers per game.

Tags: Christmas Day ESPN NBA

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