Hours after Jerry West proclaimed the NBA will surpass all sports, the league had its best all-star game rating since 2013, also beating its rating from the last two years the event went head to head with the Olympics.
“To see the way this game has changed and grown, and to see the strides that have been made for people who truly were able to contribute a different way is truly remarkable. I want to say this. I don’t like to say things that are controversial at all. But this game is gonna overtake all the other sports,” said West at the NBA Legends Brunch.
In a very busy sports weekend with the Daytona 500 and the Winter Olympics, Sunday night’s NBA All-Star Game, which aired on Turner-owned TNT and TBS, garnered a 4.3 U.S. household rating with 5.1 household impressions, both up 2% from 2017, but total viewership of 7.65 million was down from last year’s 7.75 million viewers.
The all-star event peaked with 8.2 million viewers, an increase 11% among the 18-34 demo, 10% for men 18-34 and 6% in adults 18-49. Viewership via Turner’s TV Everywhere service jumped 101% from their 2017 numbers, while its video views on Facebook and Twitter increased 37%.
The Daytona 500, which in the past easily achieved better ratings than the NBA All-Star Game, also averaged a 5.1 on Sunday. According to Sports Business Daily’s Austin Karp, it could be the lowest rated Daytona 500 in the sport’s history. Fox’s broadcast of NASCAR’s season opener experienced a ratings decline of nearly 23% from last year, and down more than 50% from the 11.3 rating NBC garnered when they had the Daytona 500 in 2006.
NBC’s Sunday night coverage of the Winter Olympic won the day with a combined 11.8 rating, averaging 15.7 million viewers. However, with ratings down an average 8% from the 2014 Winter Olympics, the trend continued as the second Sunday of the Sochi Games averaged 21.3 million viewers.