ABC's early NBA rating down

Pro Basketball

December 27, 2003|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

A matchup between All-Star centers Shaquille O'Neal and Yao Ming failed to boost the preliminary rating for ABC's first NBA telecasts of the season.

The rating for the Walt Disney Co. network's Christmas Day doubleheader fell 9 percent from last year in the top 55 U.S. markets, according to Nielsen Media Research Inc.

The Dallas Mavericks vs. Sacramento Kings and O'Neal's Los Angeles Lakers vs. Yao's Houston Rockets were watched by an average 4.1 percent of households in the top markets.

Last year's Christmas doubleheader, which featured the Boston Celtics against the New Jersey Nets and the Kings against the Lakers, drew a 4.5 rating in the large markets.

The rating is the percentage of all homes with TVs, whether or not they are in use.

The 55 markets cover about two-thirds of the country. National ratings will be released Monday.

The Rockets-Lakers game marked the debut of Al Michaels as lead announcer for ABC's NBA coverage.

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