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LeBron, Cavs Top Local NBA Ratings
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LeBron, Cavs Top Local NBA Ratings

The Cleveland Cavaliers were the top-rated local NBA market in the first half of the season, according to an analysis released today by The Nielsen Company.

Cleveland led all NBA markets in the U.S. with an 8.1 local household rating. It’s a significant 119% jump for LeBron James and the Cavs, which ranked 9th through the first half of last season with a 3.7 rating.

The San Antonio Spurs, who boasted the NBA’s top-rated local market last season through as recently as the first month of this season, still showed an 18% year-to-year increase in its local ratings. On average, 7.9% of TV households in the San Antonio market have tuned in to see Tim Duncan & Co. each game, compared to 6.7% over the same time period last year.

The Portland Trailblazers’ first full season with Greg Oden is generating plenty of renewed interest among its fans. The Portland market ranked third through the All-Star break with a 5.6 household rating, 27% higher than the first half of last year. 

TOP-10 LOCAL NBA MARKETS, BY HOUSEHOLD RATINGS

RANK TEAM/MARKET 2008-09 HH RATING 2007-08 HH RATING % CHANGE
1 Cleveland 8.1 3.7 119%
2 San Antonio 7.9 6.8 16%
3 Portland 5.6 4.4 27%
4 Utah 5.6 6.3 -11%
5 L.A. Lakers 4.7 4.2 12%
6 Boston 4.0 3.6 11%
7 Detroit 3.8 5.6 -32%
8 Phoenix 3.8 5.0 -24%
9 Houston 2.6 2.5 4%
10 Chicago 2.6 2.5 4%
source: The Nielsen Company 2009

            Other local market highlights in the NBA this year:

  • The Indiana Pacers showed the most year-to-year ratings increase through the All-Star break. The Pacers have tripled their ratings from 0.6 last year to 1.8 this year. New Orleans – led by superstar Chris Paul – saw its ratings climb 160%.
  • The NBA’s two largest markets – New York and Los Angeles – have maintained the growth trend that was started earlier this year. The Knicks are up 18%, while the Lakers are up 12% and the Clippers are up 43%.