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What lockout? Ratings, attendance up early for NBA

Jan 2, 2012, 12:40 PM EDT


Apparently you do not hold a grudge.

It’s early and the schedule was front loaded with some compelling matchups, but so far television ratings and attendance numbers are up around the NBA. Lockout? What lockout?

The Los Angeles Times has the details.

The five Christmas Day openers produced healthy ratings on TNT, ABC and ESPN, as ABC drew 11 million viewers for the Lakers-Chicago Bulls game, its third-largest NBA audience ever. TNT’s average of 5.9 million viewers for the Boston Celtics-New York Knicks game made that the most-viewed NBA Christmas Day game on cable.

In addition, 25 of the first 32 games were sellouts, up from 19 of the first 32 last season. Chris Granger, the NBA’s executive vice president for team marketing and business operations, said fan-friendly initiatives helped teams play to 99.2% of capacity over the first 32 games, up from 90.3% for the full 2010-11 season.

Part of the reasons those games are selling is ticket discounts and other promotions to get people in the door. And the Christmas ratings were up because those were all compelling matchups.

But the NBA seems not to have lost its momentum after the NBA lockout. We’ll see how it builds through the season and into the playoffs, but more than one casual NBA fan has told me “they should start on Christmas every year.” So far, there seems to be no real backlash from the lockout.

  1. franbotel - Jan 2, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    This wont still stop the NBA detractors from their usual NBA hating. The NBA is the number 2 most popular league/sport both in America and globally behind Football and soccer and its still growing.

    • brucewaynewins - Jan 2, 2012 at 5:20 PM

      NBA is not number 2 in popularity in US. It’s number 3 and a distant number 3.

      • franbotel - Jan 2, 2012 at 9:44 PM

        The only criteria Mlb performs better than Nba is attendance ( which is skewed with 156 games and revenue ) but playoffs and national Tv ratings Nba is better. Also the Average Mlb fan is close to 45 yrs while Nba is 35 just look at the last world series numbers. Finally the average sports fan is more aware of the nba players compared to baseball, people tune in to watch the stars even when they can’t stand them. Baseball just like hockey is turning to a regional sport.

  2. virusgvr - Jan 2, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    You know why the NBA is the number 2 most popular sport right? Take a look at what is the 2 most popular race group in America, and you will have your answer.

  3. jollyjoker2 - Jan 2, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    The first quarter of the nba season is pick up ball anyway. At least now they will be playing harder. Also, I don’t think too many will get riled up over the nba lockout. Either your an nba fan or not. Its a business decision for the owner and players. The fans have other things to do in winter if we don’t want to watch it.

  4. andyreidisfat - Jan 2, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    Right attendance sure is up but the truth is most of that is folks who could never afford to go before but can go now due to the deep ticket discounts.

    As far as national games, they never have ratings problems. Mostly because only the top 7 markets play these games.

    How bout some real reporting and tell us what local ratings are, and also revisit this once the fans of the other 25 teams realize its still the nba and their teams are just filler . Basketball is great the current player run nba is awful.

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