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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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NBA All-Star Game Ratings Improve As Game Does the Opposite

  • The game saw a 14% increase after a poor showing in 2023.
  • Multiple alternate broadcasts could have helped improve numbers.
NBA All Star
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Scoring wasn’t the only thing up about Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game. 

A year after record-low viewership last year the game saw a 14% increase in viewership with 5.5 million viewers, and a 20% increase of 11.6 million unique viewers watched the East beat the West, 211–186. 

But how much did the viewership benefit from the setup compared to the game? The 2023 All-Star Game was broadcast on just two networks, TNT and TBS and had 4.6 million viewers. Sunday’s game was available on the same two channels but had multiple alternate broadcasts on TruTV, B/R Sports and was available to stream on Max. The additional broadcasts likely contributed to the spike in viewership. 

Regardless, there is clearly an appetite to watch the game. Commissioner Adam Silver has said repeatedly in recent years that the All-Star Game is broken and has wished for an increased effort from players, only to find himself eating those words. One could not help but notice how Silver struggled to introduce the victorious Eastern Conference squad just over a day after he said he hoped to see more defense. Instead, he saw both teams combine for nearly 400 points. 

Still, clearly, there’s a market for the game despite the quality of the product. The game has traditionally shared the same Sunday as the Daytona 500, which tends to be an afternoon event, but was delayed until Monday due to rain. The All-Star Game also falls on the first Sunday after the Super Bowl and in the evening after the NHL Stadium Series, giving it its own runway for sports fans. While Silver is losing the effort battle, he’s still getting the ratings.

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