NEW YORK (AP):
A new format for the NBA All-Star Game had a negligible impact on television ratings.
Total viewership for the game was down slightly compared to last year, although it improved over 2014, the previous time the league’s mid-season showcase faced competition from the Winter Olympics.
Turner Sports announced yesterday that the game drew an average of 7.7 million viewers Sunday night on TNT. Last year’s game attracted an average of 7.8 million viewers. In 2014 during the Sochi Olympics, an average of 7.5 million people watched the NBA’s best at the All-Star Game.
This year’s game abandoned the traditional East-vs-West format in favour of teams selected by superstars LeBron James and Stephen Curry. James’ team won 148-145 in an uncommonly competitive matchup that featured better effort on defence.
Turner said the ratings improved among key demographics, including people between ages 18 and 34, and that video views on social media channels were up 37 per cent compared to 2017.