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Christmas Day NBA games draw record television ratings

December 27, 2010 | 12:52 pm

It looks like the NBA and its commercial partners are having a belated merry Christmas.

The NBA announced Monday that ABC and ESPN posted their highest cumulative audience ever for their Christmas Day coverage. ABC's double-header averaged a 5.5 Nielsen fast national rating, and ESPN's three broadcasts raked in a 1.8 household rating. Compared with last year's five televised games on Christmas, household ratings increased 45% on ABC and 20% on ESPN.

The Lakers' 96-80 loss to the Miami Heat drew ABC's highest rating (6.4) for an NBA regular-season game since the Lakers' 2004 Christmas game against Miami. The game drew a 45% increase in ratings over last year's game between the Cavaliers and the Lakers and earned a 15.0 rating in the Los Angeles market.

That might explain why it truly was a silent night in L.A. on Saturday.

-- Austin Knoblauch