Despite competing for viewing time with CBS’s explosive Oprah interview featuring the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, TNT’s NBA All-Star Sunday held its own in ratings.
Per Nielsen primetime numbers, the All-Star game during which Team LeBron dunked on Team Durant at the home of the Atlanta Hawks, was the most-viewed program among people ages 18-34 and brought in a larger audience for people under 45 (3.26 million viewers) than the aforementioned revelatory celebrity interview, which drew 3.01 million viewers in the category. Moreover, TNT was the most-viewed network in primetime on Sunday among people under 49 during the 7 to 11 p.m. ET window— for reference, the sit-down with the voluntary British monarch exiles aired and the basketball league’s special aired at the same time, 8 p.m. ET, with the CBS interview lasting two hours. In this age group, TNT drew 2.84 million viewers and CBS drew 2.55 million viewers.
Still, the NBA All-Star Game received an average rating of 3.1 in the key, adults ages 18-49 demographic and garnered 5.94 million viewers, while the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle special was CBS’s most live-streamed event outside of the NFL and Super Bowl Sunday this 2020-2021 season. It drew nearly 18 million viewers throughout its duration and a rating of 2.6 in the key demo, as of today’s count. In comparison with the 2020 All-Star Game, which was buoyed by a slew of tributes for the late Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, the 2021 edition was down 24% in the key demo and 18% in viewership (4.1, 7.28M).
On social media, the NBA was the most-viewed account on Instagram for All-Star Sunday with more than 89 million views, about 30 million more views than any other account on the platform.