The format change of the National Basketball Association All-Star Game has proven a hit with fans, with TV ratings for this year’s event at Chicago’s United Center averaging 7.3 million viewers across TNT and TSN, which represents an eight-per-cent rise over last year.
Sunday’s game, in which Team LeBron defeated Team Giannis 157-155, peaked during the commercial-free fourth quarter, with an average of eight million total viewers from 11.15-11.30 pm ET.
Pre-game coverage, which included tributes to the late Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, averaged 6.3 million viewers for an increase of 19 per cent over last year.
According to Sports Media Watch, the NBA All-Star Game posted its biggest year-on-year ratings rise since 2013, while it was also the first All-Star Game to increase ratings in three years.
The ratings rise is in sharp contrast to the NBA’s regular-season figures which have declined due to injuries to star players and changing viewership trends.
Thanks in part to an exciting dunk contest on Saturday evening, TNT’s overall All-Star Weekend coverage was up 15 per cent and the highest since 2017.
Additionally, social content published across @NBAonTNT and @NBATV generated increases of 44 per cent in video views, 33 per cent in impressions and 26 per cent in engagements. Bleacher Report recorded more than an 80 per cent rise in social engagements across all platforms.
Last week, the NBA renamed its All-Star Game MVP award the Kobe Bryant MVP Award.