According to Nielsen, the TNT/TBS simulcast of the game from Toronto on Sunday night averaged 7.6 million viewers, peaking with 8.7 million for a 15-minute segment from 8:45-9 p.m. ET. Sunday’s tune-in was up 6% over last year (7.17 million) when the game was also simulcast on the Turner networks, and the best since an average audience of 8.02 million watched the 2013 game on TNT. Turner said the NBA All-Star Game, won by the West 196-173, was up vs. last year in key demos, though none were provided.
The strong showing is impressive given the game took place on Valentine’s Day and had to go up against AMC’s season premiere of “The Walking Dead,” ratings for which weren’t available Monday. Also, Sunday’s game took place in Toronto so the U.S. Nielsen averages did not include viewership in the host city. Top local-market ratings for the contest were San Antonio (12.4), Oklahoma City (9.9), Cleveland (9.7), San Francisco (9.4) and Memphis (8.4).
Roughly 5.6 million also tuned in the previous night for the All-Star Saturday Night festivities on TNT, including a peak of 7 million for the Slam Dunk contest, which saw Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves defeat Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic. Last year’s event averaged a little over 6 million viewers.
Turner Sports’ coverage of the NBA All-Star Game also delivered 162 million impressions across NBA on TNT and NBA TV Facebook and Twitter channels. Additionally, Turner’s TV Everywhere platforms garnered triple-digit growth with unique views (up 295%), minutes consumed (up 135%) and live streams (up 112%) over 2015. Collectively, Sunday’s game generated 1.2 billion minutes of video consumption across Turner’s television and TV Everywhere platforms.
Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder was named MVP of the game for a second straight year, earning six of a possible 12 votes. Bryant, who’s retiring from the Lakers at the end of this season, garnered two votes from fans via Twitter.