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NBA All-Star Game audience holds steady vs. Winter Olympics

The NBA’s new All-Star Game format, featuring a mix of players from the Eastern and Western conferences for the first time, produced a tight contest on the court and solid results from a ratings perspective.

The Feb. 18 simulcast on TNT (US) and TBS (US), competing against NBCUniversal Media LLC's presentation of the Winter Olympics from Pyeongchang, South Korea, produced a 4.3 household rating, up 2% from a 4.2 mark from the 2017 contest, according to fast nationals data from Nielsen Holdings. That marked the All-Star Game's best household average since 2013.

The game from the Staples Center in Los Angeles averaged 7.7 million viewers, peaking with 8.2 million watchers in the 9:15 p.m. ET quarter hour. That average was down 1% from 7.8 million watchers in 2017, which was also simulcast on the two networks owned by Turner Broadcasting System Inc.

Turner said the game registered double-digit increases across all core demos, notably an 11% advance among people 18 to 34, a 10% gain against males 18 to 34 and 6% growth with persons 18 to 49.

The All-Star telecast faced competition for sports fans' attention from NBCU's coverage of the Pyeongchang Olympics, which generated a Total Audience Delivery of 18.2 million viewers Feb. 18. Specifically, there were 16.3 million viewers on NBC (US), some 1.7 million on NBCSN (US) and an average-minute audience of 170,000 on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app, which streamed the action on the two linear networks. The Total Audience Delivery gauges viewing consumption by calculating average-minute viewing across the broadcast, cable and digital platforms.

NBC, which was the only platform in play during prime time from the Sochi Games, averaged 21.3 million viewers during the second Sunday night from those Olympics against the 2014 NBA All-Star contest from New Orleans.

Sunday night’s All-Star Game presentation prompted a 101% jump in video starts on Turner’s TV Everywhere platforms, according to Omniture data versus the 2017 contest. The programmer's Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. NBA social channels scored a collective 37% advance in video views from 2017, according to data from Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics.