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Friday Final Nationals: NBA Christmas Day Marquee Matchup on ABC Up Double-Digits Year-to-Year with Cavaliers-Warriors

CBS was the most-watched network on Christmas night with an average of 4.81 million viewers. ESPN, with its double dose of NBA games at night (Spurs-Rockets, Clippers-Lakers), was tops among adults 18-49 in prime time.

The top ratings highlight of Christmas Day was on ABC in the early evening (before prime time) with the NBA rematch of the 2015 Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Warriors’ 89-83 victory over the Cavaliers was up 20 percent from the comparable game in 2014 (Cavaliers-Heat, 9.328 million total viewers). The Warriors-Cavaliers telecast was the most-watched NBA Christmas Day telecast since 2010 (Miami-L.A. Lakers, 13.1 million).

The game drew a 21.2 rating in Cleveland and a 16.0 in San Francisco — both records for an NBA regular season game in each respective market.

The average audience for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s victory over the Chicago Bulls on ABC in the mid afternoon was also up from last year, averaging nearly six million viewers, (5.962 million viewers), according to Fast Nationals from Nielsen. This was up from 5.885 million viewers for the Spurs-Thunder telecast on ABC in 2014. The ABC Christmas Day doubleheader average was up 13 percent from 2014, averaging an audience of 8.629 million viewers, compared to 7.648 million viewers last year.

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Friday, December 25, 2015
PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 2.5/5 4420 1.0/4 1.2/4
5:01 NBA Christmas Special: Cleveland @ Golden State 11166 3.6 3.9 4.1
8:00 CMA Country Christmas (r) 2.7/6 4801 0.8 1.1/4 1.2/4
10:00 20/20 (r) 2.3/5 3659 0.5 0.8/3 1.1/3
PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 2.9/6 4810 0.6/2 1.0/3
8:00 The Andy Griffith Show Christmas Special (s) 2.9/6 5203 0.5 0.8/3 1.2/4
9:00 Blue Bloods (r) 2.5/5 4123 0.3 0.5/2 0.8/2
10:00 Blue Bloods (r) 3.1/7 5092 0.3 0.6/2 0.9/3
PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 2.0/4 3270 0.7/3 0.9/3
8:00 Truth Be Told (r) 1.2/3 2001 0.3 0.5/2 0.6/2
8:30 Truth Be Told (r) 1.1/2 1668 0.2 0.4/2 9.6/2
9:00 Movie: Coat of Many Colors (r) 2.4/5 3994 0.6 0.8/3 1.1/3
PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-10 Network Average 0.9/2 1530 0.4/2 0.5/2
8:00 MasterChef Junior (r) 1.0/2 1747 0.4 0.5/2 0.6/2
9:00 American Country Countdown Awards: Top 10 (r) 0.8/2 1318 0.3 0.3/1 0.4/1
PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-10 Network Average 0.5/1 820 0.3/1 0.3/1
8:00 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball (r) 0.5/1 806 0.2 0.3/1 0.3/1
9:30 Whose Line Is It Anyway? (r) 0.5/1 870 0.2 0.3/1 0.4/1
PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 0.9/2 1586 0.6/2
7:00 Muchacha Italiana Viene a Casarse 0.7/2 1242 0.4/2
8:00 Antes Muerta Que Lichita 0.8/2 1474 0.5/2
9:00 Pasion y Poder 0.9/2 1611 0.6/2
10:03 Yo No Creo En Hombres 0.9/2 1676 0.6/2

Cable Rankings – Friday 12/25/15
What follows are the top 20 most-watched shows in prime time on cable for Friday, December 25:


  1. “NBA Basketball: San Antonio @ Houston” (ESPN, 8:00-10:35 p.m.): 3.881 million, 1.757 million adults 18-49 (1.39 rating)

  2. “NBA Basketball: L.A. Clippers @ L.A. Lakers” (ESPN, 10:35 p.m.-12:53 a.m.): 2.887 million, 1.444 million adults 18-49 (1.14 rating)

  3. “NCIS” (USA, 8:41 p.m.): 2.707

  4. “NCIS” (USA, 10:05 p.m.): 2.660

  5. “NCIS” (USA, 9:23 p.m.): 2.561
  6. “NCIS” (USA, 8 p.m.): 2.557

  7. “NCIS” (USA, 10:48 p.m.): 2.363

  8. Movie: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001) (ABC Family, 7:15 p.m.): 2.125

  9. Movie: “Rio Bravo” (1959) (AMC, 7 p.m.): 2.037

  10. “Gold Rush: The Dirt” (Discovery, 9 p.m.): 1.995
  11. Movie: “Four Christmases” (2008) (TBS, 8 p.m.): 1.916

  12. Movie: “Crown for Christmas” (Hallmark, 7:30 p.m.): 1.882

  13. Movie: “A Christmas Melody” (Hallmark, 9 p.m.): 1.814

  14. “Family Guy” (Adult Swim, 10:30 p.m.): 1.772

  15. Movie: “The Blind Side” (2009) (TNT, 7 p.m.): 1.759
  16. “Gold Rush” (Discovery, 8 p.m.): 1.518

  17. Movie: “Cahill United States Marshall” (1973) (AMC, 10 p.m.): 1.502

  18. “Alaskan Bush People: Christmas” (Discovery, 10 p.m.): 1.497

  19. “Family Guy” (Adult Swim, 10 p.m.): 1.487

  20. Movie: “Once Upon a Holiday” (Hallmark, 10:30 p.m.): 1.347

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research




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Written by Douglas Pucci

Douglas Pucci (a.k.a. “Son of the Bronx”) has worked with Mr. Berman for more than a decade. A Bronx native, NYU graduate and once-intern for VH1's "Pop Up Video," Pucci went on to design, build and maintain websites for various non-profit organizations in his hometown of New York City. He also contributes to the sports website Awful Announcing.

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    • Spongebob’s Christmas in Bikini Bottom (Nickelodeon, 12/25 noon-2 p.m.) 1.111 million viewers

    • Pickle and Peanut (Disney Channel, 12/25 10:00-10:30 p.m.) 635,000 viewers

      Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero (Disney Channel, 12/25 10:30-11:00 p.m.) 661,000 viewers

  1. Douglas and Marc, I am enjoying the new site! Happy New Year!

    May you please provide the Family Feud and Chain Reaction numbers from 12/25 on GSN?

      • Marc, I made sure to advertise your new site through our @greatgameshows Twitter account. I believe you acknowledged it.

        May I please have the Chain Reaction and Family Feud ratings?

    • GSN 12/25 in total viewers (adults 18-49)

      Family Feud (r) 7:30 535k (136k)
      Chain Reaction 8:00 426k (123k)
      Chain Reaction 8:30 399k (131k)
      Family Feud (r) 9:00 369k (111k)
      Family Feud (r) 9:30 386k (89k)