The NBA All-Star Game on Sunday drew an average of 7.3 million viewers, up 8% from last year.
TNT’s viewership peaked at an average of 8 million viewers from 11:15 to 11:30 p.m. as the teams played a commercial-free fourth quarter under new rules designed to boost competition.
The All-Star Game’s increase in viewing contrasts with the regular-season to date, which has registered ratings that are down double-digits from last year.
The game started with a tribute to Chicago’s basketball history and to the late Kobe Bryant, who wore jersey number 8 early in his career. The pre-game coverage averaged 6.3 million viewers, up 19% from last year.
In the game, the team led by LeBron James beat Giannis Antetokounmpo’s squad 157-155.
The game used a new scoring format, with the winner of each of the first three quarters earning $100,000 for their chosen charity. The fourth quarter was untimed--with no TV timeouts. The score from the first three quarters were added together. To win, one team had to score 24 more points than the team in the lead had, meaning that the game would be ended by a made basket or free throw. The 24 figure was a tribute to Bryant, who wore that number at the end of his career.
The format resulted in the game coming to a new-basket-wins situation, decided by an Anthony Davis foul shot.
Viewership for TNT for its All-Star weekend coverage was up 15% and the highest since 2017.
Social content published across @NBAonTNT and @NBATV generated increases of 44% in video views, 33% in impressions and 26% in engagements, according to Turner Sports.
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