So who had the best All-Star Weekend?
The Oklahoma City Thunder, with All-Star Game MVP Kevin Durant and slamming sidekick Russell Westbrook? Kevin Love, winner of the Three-Point Contest who had a solid All-Star Game? Jeremy Evans, who no longer is an unknown third-string small forward after winning the Slam Dunk Contest?
How about TNT?
The cable network, which has exclusive rights to All-Star Weekend, scored three straight TV ratings hits with their coverage Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
Sunday’s game – which followed the customary pattern of players putting on a show for three quarters before things got serious in the final period – drew a 5.4 overnight rating in metered markets, the second-best performance since the 2005 All-Star Game did a 5.9.
Florida certainly was tuned in. Helped by the postponement of the Daytona 500, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area did a 10.5 overnight rating and the Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne region did a 9.7.
Other areas with strong numbers were Oklahoam City, which drew a 10.1 rating; Chicago with an 8.7; and Los Angeles with an 8.3, not bad considering the game was up against the Academy Awards on “free” TV.
Sunday’s numbers followed an extremely strong performance for All-Star Saturday Night. On the night of the week which reguarly has the lowest overall viewership of all programs, TNT did a 4.4 overnight rating in metered markets, which translates to 6.23 million viewers.
The rating matched the second-best ever, recorded in 2009. Miami, with Mario Chalmers and James Jones in the Three-Point Contest, registered a 9.4 rating while Orlando recorded a 7.3.
Friday night’s Rising Stars Challenge – the only event of the weekend featuring phenomenon Jeremy Lin – set a record for the event with a 1.7 rating, translating to 2.7 million viewers.
During his “State of the Game” address Saturday night, Commissioner David Stern said, “Everything is good.” Everything is a bit broad, but it certainly applies to the TV ratings.