Ratings: ABC’s Christmas Day NBA Game Falls From Last Year – Still Dunks on the Rest of Primetime

Preliminary numbers for Wednesday’s Clippers-Lakers matchup are down from 2018’s holiday Lakers-Warriors game

Los Angeles Clippers v Los Angeles Lakers
Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

ABC won Christmas Day’s not-so-stiff primetime competition on Wednesday with its showdown between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. And while it was easily the highest-rated program of the night, the holiday matchup fell in preliminary ratings versus last year’s comparable NBA game, according to Nielsen.

The Clippers’ 111-106 victory over the Lakers is down 14% in the key adults 18-49 demographic (1.8 rating vs. 2.1 rating) from 2018’s primetime Christmas Day game between the Lakers and Golden State Warriors, per preliminary data.

We should note here Wednesday’s primetime NBA game was simulcast on ABC and ESPN and was one of five games the broadcast network and its cable sibling shared throughout Christmas Day.

Elsewhere, it was pretty much a silent night for the rest of broadcast primetime, with NBC coming in second in ratings thanks to its annual showing of Jim Carrey’s 2000 feature “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Due to the nature of live sports, the below fast-affiliate ratings for ABC should be considered subject to significant alteration when final time-zone adjusted numbers come in later Thursday.

ABC was first in ratings with a 1.7 rating/9 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and in total viewers with an average of 5.4 million, according to preliminary data. Those numbers were put up by the Clippers-Lakers game and one sitcom rerun at 10:30 p.m.

NBC was second in ratings with a 0.6/3 and third in viewers with 2.4 million, airing the animated classic “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” followed by the live-action film “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

CBS and Univision tied for third in ratings, each with a 0.3/2. CBS was second in viewers with 2.7 million, airing all encores. Univision was fourth in viewers with 1 million.

Fox, The CW and Telemundo tied for fifth in ratings, all with a 0.2/1. Fox was fifth in viewers with 838,000, The CW was sixth with 775,000 and Telemundo was seventh with 699,000. Fox and The CW both aired reruns.