Nielsen NBA ratings for Christmas games reports: Since ABC obtained NBA broadcasting rights in 2002, the network’s Christmas Day games have averaged a 4.1 rating and 6.9 million viewers nationally. The highest mark came in 2004 when the Lakers and Heat (featuring a much-anticipated reunion between Kobe and Shaq) pulled a 7.3 rating and 13.2 million viewers. The San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns officially tip off ABC’s broadcast season at 2:40pm ET Christmas Day.  Last year, the NBA on ABC averaged a 2.2 national rating, up 10% from 06-07. says: Looking at the Nielson ratings for NBA Christmas games, Phoenix at LA Lakers in 2007 was seen by 5,985,000 people. LA Lakers at Miami in 2006 was seen by 5,464,000 viewers. Miami at Cleveland in 2006 was seen by 5,020,000 people. San Antonio at Detroit in 2005 was viewed by 6,011,000 people. LA Lakers at Miami in 2005 was seen by 8,063,000 viewers. Miami at LA Lakers in 2004 was seen by 13,182,000 people. Dallas at Sacramento in 2003 was seen by 5,030,000 people. Houston at LA Lakers in 2003 was seen by 7,187,000 people. Boston at New Jersey in 2002 was seen by 3,957,000 people. And Sacramento at LA Lakers in 2002 was seen by 7,484,000 viewers.

Author: Inside Hoops has been a world leader in NBA basketball coverage for over 20 years. Read our blog, but also be sure to read our main website on