For the first time ever, the NBA’s prior TV stranglehold on Christmas Day will be threatened by a trio of standalone, nationally-televised, three-letter network NFL games. After months of surely muttering four-letter words regarding the development, the NBA will get a three-network of its own involved in the competition for eyeballs.
Sports Business Journal reports that all five Christmas NBA games will be televised both by ESPN and ABC. That necessarily will goose the total audience for the five games, at a time when the NFL will proceed with Packers-Dolphins on Fox at 1:00 p.m. ET, Broncos-Rams at 4:30 p.m. ET on CBS, and Buccaneers-Cardinals at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.
Although the bulk of the Week 16 NFL slate will be played on Saturday, December 24, it’s still a three-window Sunday for the NFL, with massive audiences undoubtedly tuning in for the games — and trouncing the numbers generated by the NBA.
Indeed, a Lions-Steelers preseason game on a Sunday afternoon in August on CBS attracted a larger audience than each of the five Christmas NBA games in 2021.