A new, compelling format for the NBA All-Star Game on Saturday night had positive results -- with an 8% gain in viewership to a Nielsen-measured 7.3 million viewers on TNT and TBS.
All this was good news for the league, which has seen double-digit percentage declines in viewership so far in regular-season NBA games on ESPN, ABC, TNT, and NBA TV.
The NBA All Star game has seen two consecutive years of TV declines -- 6.8 million (2019) and 7.7 million (2018). The game in 2017 posted 7.5 million viewers.
The new format featured the first three quarters where Team LeBron (LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers) and Team Giannis (Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks) played for local Chicago charities. The winner of each of the first three quarters earned $100,000 per charity.
In the fourth quarter, the teams played to a final target goal -- which was set at 24 more points than the leading team after the third quarter.
The number "24" was in honor of Kobe Bryant -- the famed Lakers star who died in a helicopter crash in late January.
The fourth quarter was an untimed period with no commercial interruptions. Team LeBron beat Team Giannis 157-155.
Top NBA All Star TV advertisers this year include State Farm, Taco Bell, American Express, Gatorade, McDonald's, Mountain Dew, AT&T Wireless, Kia, Geico, and Burger King.